Palace open to amending Anti-Cybercrime law

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 04 2012 05:11 PM | Updated as of Oct 05 2012 07:03 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang conceded that the anti-cybercrime law is not perfect but reiterated the need to implement the law to combat cybercrimes such as cyber-theft, cybersex, and online fraud.
“We believe this is not a perfect law. But the law, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, primarily addresses cybercrime which happens with impunity here in our country. Our country is being used as a base of operations by cyber criminals,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
Saying that no law is cast in stone, the Palace is open to having the law amended and may even suggest amendments.
“Sinasabi natin na this law is not perfect. There’s no irrepealable law or there’s no law that cannot be amended. We’re saying that no law is cast in stone as well. So if there are any objectionable provisions then certainly it’s good for the solons to recognize that and amend the provisions which they feel should be amended,” Lacierda said.
The Palace again assured that civil liberties “will not be curtailed” amid fears of a clampdown on free speech and freedom of expression on the Internet.
Proposals to amend the provision on online libel are “fine” with the Palace.
The Palace is inviting the public to review the Senate deliberations on the law to see that the law’s focus is to combat other criminal activities online.  
“The entire deliberation dealt with cybercrimes per se—the crimes that I listed out—not on libel. In fact, libel was put in there only in January 24, 2012. So the emphasis of the Cybercrime Prevention Act was primarily to deal with cybercrimes and, for that reason, we would like to invite the public to look at the deliberation to see ang focus talaga po ng batas na ‘yon ay to address these crimes that are happening in the Internet,” Lacierda said. 
“Now, insofar as the libel provisions are concerned, that’s something that we can seek to amend or people are questioning before the courts and that’s fine with us,” he added.
The Palace said the consultations for the crafting of the law’s IRR will be held on October 9 and will be open to the public. The Palace will be also be giving its input.