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Increasing penalty for libel a backward move, says CHR commissioner

By: - Reporter / @T2TupasINQ
/ 12:59 PM October 09, 2012

CHR Commissioner Coco Quisumbing, speaking during the Forum on Cybercrime Prevention Act, says the Philippines has gone backwards when it increased the penalty for libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines has gone backwards when it increased the penalty for libel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, the Commission on Human Rights said Tuesday.

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“Imprisoning people for libel and defamation is never appropriate. The fact that we increased the penalty for libel, (this) is not a step forward,” CHR Commissioner Coco Quisumbing, speaking during the Forum on Cybercrime Prevention Act said. She said the trend is decriminalizing libel.

The CHR reminded that the Philippine government have constitutional and international responsibilities to observe freedom of speech, right to privacy, among others.

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“There is a delicate balance between protecting human rights and catching criminals and while there is a need for (the Cybercrime Law), we need to highlight that the Philippines has an obligation under the Constitution and International law to protect human rights,” Quisumbing said.

“If we work on the IRR, please do that but it would have been better if this was discussed thoroughly in the making of this law,” she said.

“We are hoping for some improvements on this. We promise that the CHR will be watching,” she said.

TOPICS: Coco Quisumbing, Commission on Human Rights, Cybercrime Prevention law
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