Online libel won’t stop Archbishop Cruz’s criticism of Aquino admin
MANILA, Philippines—Retired Pangasinan Archbishop Oscar Cruz , a vocal critic of President Benigno Aquino III, said Wednesday the online libel law whose constitutionality has just been upheld by the Supreme Court will not stop him from criticizing and “making fun” of the Aquino administration’s “tuwid na daan.”
Cruz maintains a blog, www.ovc.blogspot.com, which contains most of his opinions and comments on political and social issues, among others.
“Blogs are easy to spot online so I can easily be sued for libel. But I am already used to it,” Cruz told reporters a day after the Supreme Court announced its decision upholding the constitutionality of some of the provisions of the new cybercrime law, including online libel.
Cruz was charged with 80 counts of libel in 2004 for an article he wrote alleging that 20 employees of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. were made to work as guest relations officers during a birthday party for the husband of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
The bishop said he was not worried about the high court ruling legalizing online libel law. “I am critical of this and that and I make fun of the ‘matuwid na daan,’ but it’s not libelous, as far as I know,” he added.
The only thing that bothered him about the new law was that it would take the National Bureau of Investigation’s so much time to catch violators, he said.
“What will happen now is that the NBI will be swamped with investigations related to online libel. It will take away so much of their time from other important things,” he said.
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