Gov't to prioritize big cybercrime cases: DOJ

by Ira Pedrasa,

Posted at Feb 18 2014 06:54 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 06:55 AM

MANILA - The government assured the public it will have a “system of protocols” insofar as online libel is concerned.

In an interview with ANC, Assistant Justice Secretary Geronimo Sy said: “We should have a system of protocols so that we make sure that we don’t waste our time and energy going after small cases and then neglecting the bigger ones.”

Sy was earlier assigned as head of the Office on Cybercrime.

He said going after cybercrimes is about prioritization given the limited resources of the government. “Do we want to go after online libel or child pornography? It’s a question of optimization of resources.”

He said all these will be discussed when the Supreme Court finalizes its decision on the Anti-Cybercrime Act.

On Tuesday, the high court declared constitutional Internet libel, but ruled as unconstitutional the all-encompassing power of the Department of Justice to just take down computer data.

SC spokesman Theodore Te said section 4 (c) (4) of the Anti-Cybercime Act, or the provision penalizing libel – is constitutional “with respect to the original author of the post.”

The SC did not allow, however, a penalty for those “who simply receive, post, react to the [message].”

Several other provisions were also struck down.

Te explained that with provisions not declared unconstitutional, “the presumption is they’re already enforceable.”

Sy said they expect motions for reconsideration to be filed against the SC decision.

After the legal processes have been exhausted, the government will be ready to disclose to the public the implementing rules of the law, Sy said.

The rules were ready “for consultation” even before the high court issued a stop order, he said.