MANILA, Philippines–Bloggers and netizens formalized their protest against Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act 2012 after they filed a petition with the Supreme Court to nullify several of its provisions.
In a 74-page petition for certiorari and prohibition, petitioners Anthony Ian Cruz, Marcelo Landicho, Benjamin Noel Espina, Marck Ronald Rimorin, Julius Rocas, Oliver Richard Robillo, Aaron Erick Lozada, Gerard Adrian Magnaye, Jose Reginald Ramos, Ma. Rosario Juan, Brendalyn Ramirez, Maureen Hermitanio, Kristine Joy Rementilla, Maricel Gray, Julius Ivan Cabigon, Benralph Yu, Cebu Bloggers Society, Inc., president Ruben Licera, Jr., and Pinay Expat /OFW Blog Awards Inc. coordinator Pedro Rahon urged the high court to declare as unconstitutional the following:
Sec. 4(c)(4), online libel;
Sec. 5 lists “aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime” and “attempt in the commission of cybercrime” as additional offenses;
Sec. 6, which raises by one degree higher the penalties provided for by the Revised Penal Code for all crimes committed through and with the use of information and communications;
Sec. 7, which allows simultaneous prosecution for violation of the Cybercrime Law and violation of the Revised Penal Code and other special laws; and
Sec. 12, which authorizes law enforcement authorities to collect or record, by technical or electronic means, traffic data in real-time;
Sec. 19, known as the takedown provision which authorizes the DOJ to block access to computer data when such data “is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act.”
They said those provisions infringes on their right to due process of law and equal protection of the laws, right to privacy of communication and correspondence, right to free speech and expression, and the right against double jeopardy.
“Now more than ever, therefore, with all due respect, the power of judicial review must not be abrogated or abandoned by the Honorable Court. Otherwise, the other branches of government will be able to operate as they very well please even beyond their fences, to the detriment of citizens,” the petition stated.
They also asked the high court to stop the government from implementing the law and the release of P50 million fund.
Respondents include Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, the DOJ, the Information and Communications Technology Office, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), and the Philippine National Police (PNP).