Cybercrime Act author confident SC won't strike down law

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 15 2013 03:10 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2013 11:12 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The principal author and sponsor of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 expressed confidence that the Supreme Court will not strike it down as unconstitutional, as oral arguments on the controversial law began on Tuesday.

Sen. Edgardo Angara stressed that the country needs a cybercrime prevention law.

"It's necessary," he told reporters.

"How can you object to penalizing someone who hacks your computer or your system, who steals your identity and commits crime, who steals your money?"

Angara admitted that the law he crafted has flaws, and that he's ready to correct them.

In fact, he said he has filed a bill amending the law's questionable provisions.

In Angara's new bill, the power of the Justice Department to take down web sites it deems unlawful--the so-called "take-down" clause--will be removed.

The penalty for online libel will be made equal to that for libel committed on traditional media, and penalties for cybercrimes will no longer be one degree higher than for other crimes in the Revised Penal Code.

"I'm confident that the Supreme Court as a whole will sustain the principle of the law, which is to protect the legitimate users of the Internet," Angara said.

"If you don't put order into the use, everyone can just do whatever he wants, and the Internet will be a lawless frontier."