Congress not inclined to defend Section 19 of Cybercrime Law

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[/caption] An online report said the extension was approved by the high court after Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, who will lead government lawyers in defending the Cybercrime Law, told the tribunal that he needed to attend an emergency meeting in Malacanang. The OSG has earlier maintained the constitutionality of the controversial law except for one provision (Section 19), which it said imposes a prior restraint on the freedom of expression. Jardeleza said they are leaving up to the Congress to defend the legality of the said clause, which authorizes the Department of Justice to block access to Internet data or content based on mere prima facie evidence and without a court order. However, University of the Philippines College of Law professor Harry Roque said in his Twitter account that Congress is also not inclined to argue for the legality of Section 19. ?Congress has sent word that it will not defend sec 19 ‘take down clause’ of cyber law,? he tweeted. Last week, SC justices held an en banc session to hear the arguments of the petitioners questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Law. Aside from Section 19, the questioned provisions of the law discussed were the provisions on collection of traffic data, cybersex, and separate prosecution and conviction for Internet libel under the Revised Penal Code and RA 10175. The SC issued on Oct. 9, 2012 a temporary restraining order stopping the implementation of the Cybercrime Law for 120 days which will lapse on Feb. 5, 2013. The petitioners also asked the SC last week to extend the TRO. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said this pending motion will be discussed in future court sessions. ? With a report from the Philippine News Agency ]]>

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