Sen. Nancy Binay said on Monday, June 11, that she is hoping the Duterte administration would consider the Electronic Violence Against Women (E-VAW) Act of 2016 as a priority legislation.
“It is my fervent hope that this measure will be able to empower women and their children by providing them with the necessary protection against online bullying, cyberstalking, and other forms of harassment committed using the internet, social media or any other forms of electronic media,” Binay said.
Senate Bill No. 180 seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (VAWC Law) to include violence committed using the internet and communications technology.
It adds that social media has been used to disseminate scandals of both known personalities and private individuals.
The bill says that while Republic Act No. 9995 of the Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act of 2009 sought to put an end to such forms of harassment, “the law fails to address the form of violence brought on victims of such scandals, by reason of their special relationships with their assailants.”
“Madalas po, kakilala pa o kaya naman ay malapit sa biktima ang siyang may sala, at ang pangha-harass ay ginawa sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakalat ng mga malalaswang litrato o video ng biktima,” Binay lamented.
“Makakatulong po ang panukalang batas na ito na mabigyan ng lakas ng loob ang biktima na ipagtanggol ang kaniyang sarili. Sa wakas, mareresolba na ng kinauukulan ang mga kaso kung saan isinagawa ang harassment gamit ang internet at social media,” the senator said.
The measure defines “electronic violence” as any act that involves the exploitation of data that “can cause or is likely to cause mental, emotional and psychological distress or suffering to the victim.”
The bill seeks to punish those who commit electronic violence against a woman and her child with incarceration from six months to six years. Meanwhile, threats causing electronic violence will be punished by incarceration from a month to six months.
Offenders will be fined up to P300,000.00 but not more than P500,000.00, depending on the gravity of distress caused to the victim. The bill also provides a protection order to prevent further harm and distress to any woman and her child.
“Sana, matulungan po natin ang kababaihan na labanan ang pang-aabuso sa kanila. Huwag nating hayaan na porke’t ito ay ginagawa sa pamamagitan ng teknolohiya ay hindi na sila mabibigyan ng hustisya,” Binay said.