Gov’t to defend cyber law at SC

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10:28 AM January 29th, 2013

By: Tetch Torres, January 29th, 2013 10:28 AM

AP PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — After a week of delay, government lawyers on Tuesday will defend before the Supreme Court the legality of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The oral argument was scheduled last week but the high court granted the government’s request to reset it today, Tuesday.

Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza made the request saying he was needed in Malacañang.

Two weeks ago, the high court heard the arguments of the petitioners questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Law.

Among the questioned provisions of the law discussed were the provision on Internet libel, the authority of the Department of Justice to take down Internet data if found to be violating RA 10175, collection of traffic data, cybersex issue and prosecution for violating this law and a separate prosecution and conviction for the same crime under the Revised Penal Code.

Representatives of the petitioners UP law Professor Harry Roque Jr., Bayan Muna Representative Neri Colmenraes, Philippine Bar Association legal counsel Rodel Cruz, UP Prof. Jesus Disini, and Julius Matibag of the National Union of People’s Lawyers cited violation of the due process clause, search and seizure, prohibition against double jeopardy or being prosecuted for the same offense twice, vagueness of the law, right to free speech as among the many constitutional provisions which will be violated if the law will be implemented.

Meanwhile, the anti-Cybercrime Law advocates will go back to the streets Tuesday on the second leg of the oral arguments.

Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes said they were hoping that the high court would extend the restraining order it issued against the law’s implementation.

“With only a few days to go before the TRO vs cybercrime law expires on February 6, we hope the SC will take up the motion of the counsels for petitioners and issue an indefinite TRO… The cybercrime law, with its many infirmities, cannot possibly be implemented while the SC has yet to rule on the petitions,” Reyes said.

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