De Lima vows not to abuse anti-cybercrime powers

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2012 01:26 PM | Updated as of Oct 04 2012 04:32 AM

Says nothing unconstitutional about RA 10175

MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima assured the public that government, especially the Department of Justice (DOJ), will not abuse its authority in the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The law, assailed before the Supreme Court (SC) by various sectors for being "patently unconstitutional," takes effect beginning Wednesday.

De Lima said the law's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) will be crafted to "harmonize and clarify" questioned provisions of the law, such as the provisions on libel and the 'takedown powers' of the DOJ on websites. The IRR will set the limits to the powers and authority provided for in the law, she added.

"Lilinawin sa IRR yung standards, yung parameters, yung proseso," she said.

De Lima, however, pointed out that she saw nothing unconstitutional about the controversial law. Libel, for instance, is already a crime punishable under the Revised Penal Code, and the 'takedown power' is already being practiced in other countries.

"I refuse to state, at this point, that there are unconstitutional provisions. Doon sa pagbasa ko ng batas, wala pa akong makita doon na pwede natin sabihin na unconstitutional," De Lima said.

She, however, admitted that there need not be a separate provision for libel in RA No. 10175, since this is covered by the provision that states all offenses under the Revised Penal Code through information and communications technology is punishable under this new law.

De Lima stressed that the implementation of the law, at least for now, will focus more on organized crimes perpetrated in the internet and that netizens need not worry for as long as they are not blatantly violating the legislation.