Almost a year after the Supreme Court’s “indefinite” temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Cybercrime Law, the high tribunal is set to decide on the said legislation today.
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines strongly opposes the Cybercrime Law as it violates freedom of expression of the Filipino people in the internet. The campus press as well is affected by the law as it will curtail the freedom of the press in the internet.
The Guild views Cybercrime Law as a repressive measure of the Aquino government to silence its critics in the internet. The law intensified libel, worse than the libel under the Revised Penal Code which is a step backward on the worldwide campaign to decriminalize libel. The law also gives much power to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Philippine National Police (PNP) to violate the right of privacy of the people by allowing these agencies to look into the online activity of internet users.
CEGP, the oldest and broadest intercollegiate alliance of tertiary student publications in the country and Asia-Pacific, has been in the forefront of the struggle for genuine press freedom and democratic rights. CEGP, along with other progressive youth organizations, fought the Cybercrime Law from late 2012 until early 2013 conducting activities to inform the people on the chilling effect of the said law to the people’s freedom in the cyberspace.
The Guild calls its member publications and the Filipino youth to fight for internet freedom. We should once again unite and call for the repealing of Cybercrime Law.###