MANILA, Philippines - The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) is urging the government to yield to the teachings of the late Pope John Paul II by amending or repealing the contentious Cybercrime Prevention Act.
In a report from CBCP News, the association of 1,345 Catholic schools across the country said lawmakers should revisit the message of the late Pope during his visit to the Philippines on February 17, 1981 in the midst of the martial law.
The Pope said then: “Even in exceptional situations that may at time arise, one can never justify any violation of the fundamental dignity of the human person or of the basic rights that safeguard his dignity.
“Legitimate concern for the security of a nation, as demanded by the common good, could lead to the temptation of subjugating to the State the human being and his or her dignity and rights.”
“Any apparent conflict between the exigencies of security and of the citizen’s basic rights must be resolved according to the fundamental principle—upheld always by the Church—that social organization exists only for the service of man and for the protection of his dignity and that it cannot claim to serve the common good when human rights are not safeguarded.”
CEAP said the law recently passed would lead to the suppression of liberties, like in the Marcos’ years.
“We are wary of this law, while trying to combat criminal activities on the Internet, unlawfully curtails the individual’s right to free speech. We are disturbed by this law, while hoping to respond quickly to offenses committed ‘online,’ gives blanket authority to the Executive Arm to restrict or control data on the Internet,” it said.