Bayan files petition vs anti-cybercrime lawBy Tetch Torres
MANILA, Philippines–Militant group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan has joined various groups seeking to declare as unconstitutional the several provisions of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Bayan is the 7th group to file a petition with the Supreme Court.
In a 30-page petition, Bayan, through the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers also urged the Supreme Court to stop the law’s implementation.
The law will take effect first week of October.
“RA 10175 through its assailed provisions, infringes unconstitutionally and constitutes a sweeping intrusion into the people’s freedom of speech, of expression and of the press, right against unreasonable searches and seizures and right to privacy and other fundamental freedoms.”
Bayan and the petitioners are assailing at least 10 provision of the new law which takes effect October 3. These include Sections 4(a)(3), 4(b)(3), 4(c)(4), 5(a)(b), 6, 7, 12, 17, 19, and 20 for infringing constitutional rights of the people such as freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press, right against unreasonable searches and seizures, and right to privacy.
A provision in the new law also makes illegal the alteration of computer data without right, which may include photos. “Even Internet memes that alters photos of politicians as a way of expressing opinions on issues, may be penalized under this law,” Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes explained.
“We urge the Supreme Court to give due course to all petitions. The issue of the cyberlaw infringes on our constitutional rights. The court must strike down this draconian measure,” Reyes said.
Aside from Bayan, also included as petitioners are National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera, Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay, KMU chair Elmer Labog, COURAGE chair Ferdinand Gaite, and Anakpawis secretary general Joel Maglungsod, Gabriela Women’s Party Secretary General Lana Linaban and human rights lawyer and netizen Julius Garcia Matibag.
Early Monday, Kabataan partylist also filed their own petition with the Supreme Court against the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Five petitions have already been filed with the Supreme Court to enjoin agencies like the Philippine National Police (PNP), the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice from enforcing the law, which will take effect on Wednesday.
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