Youth party files MR on Cybercrime Law decision

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 11 2014 05:02 PM | Updated as of Mar 12 2014 01:03 AM

MANILA - The Kabataan party-list group filed with the Supreme Court Tuesday afternoon a motion for reconsideration (MR) on the high court's decision on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

In its MR, Kabataan questioned various portions of the SC decision, which was handed down last Feb 18, including the portions on online libel, the one degree higher penalty provision, and the provisions on search, seizure, preservation and destruction of computer data.

Sections 4(c)4, 5 and 6 pertaining to libel are unconstitutional due to "vagueness and overbreadth."

"Being a case involving free speech, the overbreadth and the void for vagueness doctrine must be applied. A facial overbreadth is therefore applicable, considering the fact that the anti-cybercrime law seek to regulate spoken words. As for the vagueness doctrine, since unbridled discretion is left in the hands of a few, people will have a difficult if not impossible way to delineate what is considered a crime and what is protected speech," the motion for reconsideration read.

On the provision that penalizes cybercrime offenses a degree higher than what is provided for in other laws, the group said this gives the wrong impression that "all crimes committed with the use of information and communications technology would automatically be graver than if the crime was committed in the real world."

Section 15 of the law, on the other hand, allegedly violates the constitutional right against unreasonable searches and seizures.

"It must be emphasized that the mandatory requirements of a valid search and seizure applies not merely to physical objects subject of a search and seizure but must also necessarily apply to incorporeal property such as computer data," the MR read.

The other petitioners are also set to file their own MRs.