MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – On Tuesday, February 18, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of most provisions of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The SC ruled that the controversial provision on online libel is constitutional, but is subject to one condition: only the original author, not those who receive or react to the post, can be penalized.
Meanwhile, 3 provisions were voted down as categorically unconstitutional:
- Section 4 (c)(3) which pertains to unsolicited commercial communications
- Section 12 which pertains to real-time collection of traffic data
- Section 19 which pertains to restricting or blocking access to computer data
The SC decided that granting power to the Department of Justice to restrict computer data on the basis of prima facie or initially observed evidence was not in keeping with the Constitution. The said automatic take-down clause is found in Section 19 of the cybercrime prevention law.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago called the libel ruling erroneous. Senator Bongbong Marcos, on the other hand, filed a bill that would reduce the penalty for online libel.
Below is the decision of the Supreme Court on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 in its entirety, and the separate dissenting and concurring opinions of some of the SC justices.
Dissenting and concurring opinion of Justice Leonen:
Dissenting and concurring opinion of Justice Carpio:
Concurring opinion of Justice Brion:
Dissenting and concurring opinion of Chief Justice Sereno: