Protesters threaten to junk pro-Cybercrime senators in 2013 pollsBy Matikas Santos
MANILA, Philippines – Members of Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) held a protest rally in front of the Commission on Elections Friday morning calling for the junking of senators who voted for the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
“We call for the junking of the Cybercrime Law and the junking of the senators, who voted for it, during the coming elections,” PLM chairman Sonny Melencio said in their statement.
“Out of 14 senators, we will focus on 10 senators who have not changed their support for the Cybercrime Law,” he added.
Melencio identified them as Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Gregorio Honasan II, Panfilo Lacson, Manuel Lapid, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III, Ramon Revilla Jr., Vicente Sotto III, Ralph Recto, and Manny Villar.
The other four senators who signed, Edgardo Angara, Pia Cayetano, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Francis Escudero, “have either passed an amendment against the online libel provision of the law or said they would work for the law’s revision,” Melencio said.
He urged them to take concrete actions and not just make public pronouncements.
“This is not blackmail, but a responsible response to the martial law character of the law,” he added.
The recently passed law was met with widespread criticism for certain provisions said to be violative of the people’s right to freedom of speech over the internet.
Melencio said they would continue to campaign against the senators who voted for the law. “The campaign will hit the grassroots community and factories nationwide where PLM has a base.”
“Because of the severity of the issue, we want to hit the senator where it will hurt the most – the votes,” Melencio said.
Liberal Party senatorial candidates Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Risa Hontiveros, and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. were filing their certificates of candidacy at the same time the protesters were holding their rally.
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