No suppression of civil liberties despite cybercrime law, says Lacierda
MANILA, Philippines—Despite the passage of the cybercrime law, no government entity has moved to deprive anyone of access to the internet or to suppress civil liberties as exercised online, Malacañang said on Wednesday.
In fact, Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the hackers, who claim to be aligned with critics of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, were the ones who have engaged in “online vandalism, depriving the broader public of access to much needed government information and services online.”
Lacierda recognized that the Constitution was “clear and uncompromising” in the civil liberties it guarantees all our people.”
“As the basic law, its guarantees cannot, and will not, be diminished or reduced by any law passed by Congress. The administration is equally adamant in upholding these liberties, which were regained at such high cost by our people,” he said in a statement.
“We would therefore like to point out that no government entity has moved to deprive anyone of access to the Internet or to suppress civil liberties as exercised online,” Lacierda said.
He then challenged critics of the law to speak out against online vandalism and bullying “with as much vigor and passion” they have expressed against the law.
“If our freedoms have been hard won, it would do us all well to remember that in the end, vigilantism harms the cause of freedom of expression and civil liberties for all netizens.”
Malacañang insisted that the cybercrime law was enacted by Congress to address legitimate concerns about criminal behavior on the Internet and the effects of abusive behavior.
Still, Lacierda said the Aquino administration welcomed all questions raised against the law as well as proposed amendments to it in accordance with constitutional processes.