Davaoeños join protests vs Cybercrime Prevention Law
DAVAO CITY, Philippines- Activists in Davao City, mostly youth and students, occupied a portion of one of the major city streets on Tuesday, October 2, to express their disapproval against the Cybercrime Prevention Law.
The protesters said that aside from aiming to curb child pornography and cybercrimes, the law was skillfully crafted as a state mechanism to put down online anti-government critics.
“Fighting child pornography and other cybercrimes are welcome. But fighting corruption and anti-people and anti-environment policies via online media will be suppressed especially by the current regime which does not welcome legitimate feedback and criticisms,” said Juland Suazo, spokesperson of environmentalist group Panalipdan-Southern Mindanao.
With the insertion of libel, Suazo described the cybercrime law as a Trojan Horse to limit public truth telling and would result to a massive self-censorship in the country.
“Online reform advocates who will expose anomalies of government officials, military, police and corporations will resort to self-censorship to avoid being labeled or charged as cybercriminals,” commented Suazo.
He added that the law also legalizes attacks on the privacy of internet users in the country.
Suazo expressed fears that the law would allow the government to access private online accounts and monitor the activities of critics without court warrants.
Bayan Muna vice-president for Mindanao Atty Carlos Isagani Zarate that it is ironic that Aquino, who is a son of one of the famous victims of Martial Law, approved the law which effectively placed cyberspace under another form of martial law.
“True, PNoy did not actually proclaim martial law, but by signing RA 10175, he rammed through a Machiavellian, Marcosian and Draconian law that has the same, if not even worse, far-reaching and injurious effects on the peoples’ exercise of their fundamental rights and freedom,” Zarate said.
He added that a closer examination of the law will show that it grants unconstitutional and immense powers to the executive department and its other state agents, that are even much greater than when a martial law under the 1987 Philippine Constitution is proclaimed.
“If not struck down as unconstitutional, RA 10175 is like a loaded gun pointed at the head of and which will constantly torture every Filipino citizen and netizen,” Zarate commented.
For youth cultural activist Earl Condeza, social networking sites are very effective as platform for different advocacies. He said that the implementation of the law is comparable to putting a gag to the sector, which is considered the hope of the nation.
Condeza said that the government must prioritize more relevant legislations that would improve the delivery of social service in the country instead of suppressing the opinion and desire of the people.
The protesters said the government must heed the call of the people and immediately scrap the law.
The group said the postponed deliberation of the law is a political maneuvering of the alleged Aquino-backed Supreme Court to continue its implementation.
Aside from the protest action, a significant number of netizens and journalists have also expressed their disapproval to the law by taking down their profile photos in social networking site Facebook and replacing it with a black image.
Various groups in Davao are launching a massive campaign through social networking sites and through cellphone text barrages urging supporters in the city to join a cultural protest tomorrow afternoon at the city's Freedom Park.
The organizers are also urging its supporters and other netizens in the city to wear black on Wednesday, October 2. -Rappler.com
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