Now that Filipinos are getting more active online, the Philippine government is also doing its part to make sure that citizens’s rights are also protected online after President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino signed the Cybercrime Prevention Law.
The new law signed by Aquino on September 12 as Republic Act 10175 will cover computer-related offenses such as hacking, child pornography, and even online libel which concerns Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino.
Rep. Palatino opposed the inclusion of online libel as one of the punishable acts and insists that it is “a step backward in our long-term aim of decriminalizing libel.”
“Under this law, politicians can easily file charges against ‘hostile and combative’ critics and witnesses by claiming that virtual protesters have threatened their life and property. Censorship will lead to repression once an activist or reform advocate has been labeled a cybercriminal,” Palatino said.
While there are some people who are opposing online libel as part of this new law, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte acknowledged the issue and said that they’ll leave it to other lawyers to determine what constitutes online libel.
Republic Act 10175 also punishes cybersquatting and identity theft, spamming or unsolicited commercial communication among others. If you want to read the complete transcript of the Republic Act No. 10175 – Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, here’s a copy below.
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