Drilon on Anti-Cybercrime Law: Let it be

By Ron Gagalac, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2014 03:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 19 2014 11:03 PM

MANILA -- Senate President Franklin Drilon believes the Anti-Cybercrime Law should be left alone after the Supreme Court has declared most of its provisions as constitutional.

But he said the Senate will wait for Congress which reportedly has plans of amending the controversial law, particularly removing the libel provisions.

"We will wait for it, but the cybercrime law as a law has been sustained to be constitutional," he said.

According to Drilon, he has been receiving information that most judges handling libel cases would not impose imprisonment because libel has alternate penalties.

"It's either imprisonment or fines," he said.

"Nung ako ay kalihim pa ng katarungan, sa apat na taon, mukhang iisa lang ang libel na finile ko," Drilon said. "Let us leave it (cybercrime law) at that."

The high court on Tuesday announced that online libel provision in the controversial law is constitutional, but it struck down 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]."

The court also upheld provisions penalizing cyber-squatting, computer fraud, identity theft and gaining illegal access through a computer.