Bayan Muna, Kabataan slam SC decision on Anti-Cybercrime Act

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 18 2014 06:52 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 02:52 AM

MANILA -- Some lawmakers slammed the Supreme Court's (SC) decision to uphold the Anti-Cybercrime Act, with one saying that its online libel provision bans everyone from posting their frustrations with government on social media.

Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares said, "Bawal ka maglabas ng frustration sa traffic, sa pork barrel at tawagin kurakot ang public official, bawal, libel so far. Ang personal opinion, pag-retweet based sa nabasa ko, declared unconstitutional only the portion where you're not the author, meaning to say pag 'di ikaw ang author, 'di ikaw ang ma-penalize, but still, the same author is guaranteed freedom of expression. Despite what my statement kanina na mag-consult kami, we will definitely file an MR (motion for reconsideration)."

Liking or retweeting other people's posts are allowed by the Supreme Court and will not be penalized.

Colmenares said it is a very sad day that libel has not been struck down since libel has been decriminalized in other countries.

Colmenares reiterated that the country does not need an anti-cybercrime law since there are already laws dealing with fraud and pornography online.

"Itong cybercrime law is nothing more than to stifle dissent of people. 'Di na kaya ng Malacanang ang criticisms, they're not tolerant of dissent and criticisms," he said.

Meanwhile, Kabataan Party-list Rep. Terry Ridon said, "Gusto sana namin i-junk na nila ng buong-buo para di na kami gagawa ng repeal."

Ridon said they already have a pending bill to repeal the Anti-Cybercrime Law. He said this can proceed independently and as a parallel effort.

Colmenares, however, noted the uphill battle a repeal will have because the cybercrime law is an administration-backed bill, and the administration dominates Congress.

"Then it is an uphill battle. We're hoping the SC will take up the cudgels at sila na ang mag-declare instead of Congress passing a law, which is too difficult since majority of its members are controlled by the administration," he said.

Earlier, House Speaker Belmonte said he expects the anti -cybercrime law to be upheld by the Supreme Court.

In an ambush interview, Belmonte said, "Alam mo there are all sorts of reports. One of the reports, a recent one is it will be upheld. I believe it will be upheld. The provisions of the law say, if any part is unconstitutional, only that part is unconstitutional, the rest can be upheld. I think it will be upheld. What we don't know is what provisions will be deemed unconstitutional."