Sotto defends libel provision in cybercrime law

By Ryan Chua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2012 07:46 PM | Updated as of Oct 09 2012 03:46 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The "favorite neighborhood cyberbully whipping boy" on Monday defended himself against criticisms he included a libel provision in the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

In a privilege speech, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said his proposal to include the libel provision was not in retaliation for the "cyberbullying" he experienced after he allegedly plagiarized parts of his speech against the Reproductive Health Bill.

Based on Senate records, Sotto made the amendment to include the online libel provision in the anti-cybercrime law on June 24. The Senate approved the bill's final version on June 5.

"The cyberbullying attacks were on August and September 2012, way, way beyond June 5," he said. "These cyberbullies should not be too presumptuous."

At the start of his speech, Sotto called himself the "favorite neighborhood cyberbully whipping boy" for being the subject of criticisms online.

Sotto lamented how he has become the subject of blame for the anti-cybercrime law, which was authored by various senators.

"Ang dating kasi, 'pagka nagkapatayan sa Senado, ako ang killer," he said.

He also reiterated that the libel provision was not an "insertion" because he made the amendment on the floor.

"Ang cybercrime law ay dumaan sa tamang proseso," Sotto said.