The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) is the broadest and oldest alliance of student publications in the country, with 650 member publications out of 750. Founded in 1931, the CEGP has a long roster of alumni luminaries across a broad political spectrum such as Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, New York Times reporter Carlos Conde, veteran journalist Malou Mangahas, among others.
The CEGP has long been conducting seminars and other activities under the banner of press freedom. In the last few months, it has been active in holding discussions about the controversial RA 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act (Cybercrime Law).
In September this year, the president signed the Cybercrime Prevention Bill into law. The Cybercrime Law started to take effect on October 3. A week after, however, the Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order lasting for 120 days. This was after several groups, including the Philippine Bar Association, the oldest organization of lawyers in the country, filed 15 petitions against the Law.
Several lawyers have issued several statements against the law, maintaining that its implementation could lead to violation of human rights, particularly the right to freedom of expression. As campus journalists who now venture in online reportage, and as ordinary citizens who use the internet as a source of information and means of communication, it is therefore a necessity for us to dissect the Cybercrime Law and study its implications in the exercise of free speech.
In the spirit of press freedom, the publication/institution can hold different forms of activities to provide a venue for the students to discuss the Law. Activities can be in the form of roundtable discussion, forum, among others.
In this light, the Guild is requesting to hold a forum about the Cybercrime Law in partnership with your institution. If necessary, we can schedule a sit-down meeting to discuss the activity. For inquiries or confirmation, we can be reached via landline (437-01-48) or cellphone (09267222723) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Duration of the activity: One and a half hour – Minimum
Four hours – Maximum
Target Audience: Can be exclusive to students in the school or open to other student leaders/ journalists/faculty members and other individuals outside the institution (the latter is preferable)
Commitment of the school administration:
Permission to use facilities – Minimum
Endorsement of the activity and issuance of a memorandum/verbal directive for the students to attend the forum – Maximum
Proposed flow of program:
First 15 or 30 minutes: Prayer and opening remarks
One hour or one and a half hour – Discussion proper
Last 15 minutes or 30 minutes – Open forum and closing remarks
CEGP officers and/or a distinguished faculty member/lawyer/media practitioner