Sen. Angara takes responsibility for cyberlawBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines—Senator Edgardo Angara on Thursday took responsibility for the passage of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and admitted there might have been “some omissions” even as he said they were not “deliberate.”
“Lawmaking is like that. Not all the laws we pass are perfect, but we are quick to recognize and amend the mistakes,” Angara said in a statement.
“However, I don’t want to give the impression that I am shifting the blame to anyone. I take responsibility because I was the one who put it all together,” he said. “Either way, I believe that those who provided inputs are responsible, reasonable people.”
Angara is chairman of the Senate committee on science and technology and one of the authors of the controversial legislation.
He pointed out, however, that he was only one of the authors. The other authors of the measure, he said, were Senate President Juan Ponce-Enrile, Pro Tempore Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Sentaors Loren Legarda, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, and Antonio Trillanes, among others.
Angara was the second senator who admitted an oversight in supporting the law after Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, who acknowledged that he voted for its passage without noticing the libel provision in the law.
To rectify this error, Escudero has filed a bill to decriminalize online libel. He also has a pending bill, decriminalizing the libel law itself.
Angara assured that immediate steps were being taken to correct oversights in the newly signed law.
He specifically wanted to amend the “takedown” provision on the online libel and to equalize the penalty of online libel either through amendments or in the law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR).
But Angara insisted that the country is much better off with cyberlaws “rather than have a cyberspace without any form of regulation.
“I don’t want the criticism to overwhelm the overall purpose of this law. I still believe we are much better off with the Cybercrime Prevention law in operation rather than having to navigate what is essentially a wide, wide universe without rules,” he added.
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