Senate urged to act on inclusion of electronic violence in VAWC law

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Saying that electronic violence is as rampant as fake news these days, a member of the House of Representatives has urged the Senate to pass its version of a bill that will add electronic violence as a form of abuse against women and children.

“We’ve done our part in the House by legislating these urgent reforms of the current Anti-VAWC (Violence Against Women and Children) Law and it is now in the hands of the Senate,” said Agusan del Norte representative Lawrence Fortun in a statement.

In the meantime, Fortun said the implementors of the existing law, Republic Act 9262, should initiate contact and collaboration with social media platforms and Internet companies

“As early as now, they should be laying the groundwork and initial mechanisms for anti-electronic violence measures using existing Web and social media community standards, so that by the time the new law is enacted, they need not start from scratch because they can already build upon what they have effectively put in place early on,” he said.

House Bill 5869, recently approved by the House and transmitted to the Senate, already identifies specific areas for administrative action which can already be done while the measure is still pending approval.

“This would be a good example of proactive governance,” Fortun said. “The concerned government agencies should realize by now that fake news is not the only plague spreading across cyberspace. Electronic violence, like fake news, runs rampant out in the open on cyberspace and in the dark net realm of the Internet.”

The lawmaker said social media platforms and Internet service providers should also be able to preventively contain and shutdown electronic violence activity as soon as its red flags and markers are detected.

“There should be protocols consistent with our laws, including anti-cybercrime laws and RA 9262,” he said.

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