April 22, 2014
We the Bloggers and Netizens for Democracy (BAND), composed of petitioners in G.R. 203469 questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, vow to continue to defend and promote Internet freedoms in the Philippines despite the Supreme Court’s decision to turn down the motions for reconsideration filed by us and other petitioners.
This early, we predict that we might go back soon to the Supreme Court once this draconian law gets implemented and violates people’s fundamental rights. Maybe then, the magistrates would get a better understanding of the ramifications of the court’s decision.
The battle proceeds, first and foremost, to the Department of Justice which is showing an extreme case of itching in its obvious excitement to implement Republic Act 10175. In the process of drafting the implementing rules and regulations (IRR), we will press Secretary Leila de Lima to set aside the contentious and dangerous provisions, and make sure all legal and constitutional protections are in place for the rest. We will press for nationwide, multisectoral and multi-stakeholder consultations.
We remind senators and congressmen of their pledges to pass bills decriminalizing libel, amending RA 10175 and enacting a Magna Carta for internet users. They have an obligation to correct their errors in the crafting of RA 10175, and we will vigilantly watch whether they would deliver on their promises.
Finally, we have also asked our legal team to look into other legal and proto-legal remedies that remain available to us. We are not giving up. If we need to go to the United Nations to question RA 10175, for violations of our treaty obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, we would not hesitate to do so.
We hope that we bloggers and netizens would not resort to self-censorship out of fear — that is what they want us to do and feel. Let us make our blogs, websites, social media accounts and communities zones of Internet freedom. Let us fight tooth and nail for our Internet freedoms.