MANILA, Philippines – National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera and militant groups on Monday, October 1, asked the Supreme Court to strike down Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act as unconstitutional.
Lumbera and representatives of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Gabriela, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Karapatan, Courage and Anakpawis also asked the SC to stop Malacañang from implementing the law, which they slammed as a “Machiavellian” measure that violates press freedom.
The petitioners said Sections 4(a)(3), 4(b)(3), 4(c)(4), 5(a)(b), 6, 7, 12, 17, 19, and 20 of the law are “overbreadth” – which means while they intend to prohibit a certain action, they restrict acts that are protected by the 1987 Constitution.
These provisions penalize online libel, cybercrime through data interference, abetting cybercrimes and grant the Department of Justice the power to shut down sites that contain harmful content based on prima facie evidence.
“Any citizen of the Republic, from a poor peasant to an ordinary student, a simple housewife to an online blogger or journalist, anyone that is a social media (e.g. Facebook or Twitter) user, an average worker to a politician, judge or even the Honorable Justices of the Honorable Court, as long as they are using mobile phones, computers, computer data storage devises (e.g. USB, external hard disks), emails, social media and anything that is related to the Internet, cyberspace and information and communications technology, is a marked target of RA 10175,” they said.
This is the 7th petition to be filed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act. Various bloggers, lawyers Harry Roque, Jose Jesus Disini, businessmen Louis Biraogo, partylist group Alab ng Mamamahayag and Sen Teofisto Guingona III previously filed similar petitions. – Rappler.com
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