World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Black Tuesday protest over new Cyber Crime libel law

PHILIPPINES: Black Tuesday protest over new Cyber Crime libel law


MANILA (The PCIJ Blog/Pacific Media Watch): Media organisations and netizens in the Philippines marked the 28th anniversary of the EDSA "People Power" Revolt this week with a Black Tuesday campaign to protest the Cyber Libel provision of Republic Act 10175 - or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The Supreme Court last week declared the Cyber Libel provision of R.A. 10175 as constitutional, effectively expanding the coverage of the country’s 80-year-old libel law into the digital domain.

Media and online groups have protested against the ruling, saying the decision reverses what already appeared to be a libertarian trend in the courts in the interpretation of libel laws.

Libel is defined in Article 323 of the Revised Penal Code as a criminal offence, punishable with both a prison term and damages. Media and lawyers groups have been pushing for the decriminalisation of libel, saying the law has been used to harass and intimidate the Philippine press.

In addition, the Philippines is unique in that an allegedly libelous statement is presumed to be malicious until proven otherwise by the accused. This implies that the accused is already presumed to be guilty until he proves himself innocent before the courts.

Exactly a week ago on Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of R.A. 10175s cyber libel provision, which recognises that libel can be committed online, but only by the original authors and producers of the material.

Not included in the crime of cyber libel are those who receive or respond to the material.

At the same time the Tribunal struck down several provisions of the law as unconstitutional, particularly the “take-down” clause which would have allowed the government to deny or restrict access to digital hardware and material even without a warrant, and the real-time collection of traffic data.

The decision came exactly a week before the nation commemorates the 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolt, when press freedom was restored in the country.

Media organisations have pointed out that the Cybercrime Act and the SC ruling on the law effectively reverses many of the freedoms gained in EDSA by unduly restricting freedom of expression and freedom of the press even in the internet.

To mark this day, online groups and media organisations including the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, have declared February 25 as Black Tuesday.

The groups are launching this noon an online protest to ask the Supreme Court to reverse its ruling on cyber libel, and to press legislators to amend the libel provisions in Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news