October 9, 2012
Multisectoral group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) today welcomed the Supreme Court (SC) decision which stopped the implementation of the highly controversial Republic Act (RA) 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as a major victory for freedom and civil liberties.
“Credit goes primarily to the Filipinos who showed people power online and offline, who posted, tweeted, shared and marched to show their opposition,” Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes said.
Reyes added that the fight against Cybercrime Law should continue until the law is eventually junked.
In a unanimous decision, the SC Justices sitting en banc issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Cybercrime Law, which has been broadly criticized for being repressive and violative of the freedom of speech and other human rights.
The High Court decision came amid another protest action led by Bayan and other organizations in front of the SC today pressing the Justices to stop the implementation of the Cybercrime Law.
Using the name #NoToCybercrimeLaw, Bayan and the other groups are among the initiators of some of the 15 petitions filed so far before the SC questioning the legality and constitutionality of the Cybercrime Law.
Aside from the usual speeches, the protest also featured t-shirt printing, cultural and art presentations and Freedom Wall, among others as organizers waited for the decision of the SC which has scheduled an en banc meeting on Tuesday. Some organizers described the activity as an “Occupy-like protest” along Padre Faura St. in Manila where the SC is located. “Occupy” refers to the form of demonstration initiated by activists in New York where they occupied Wall Street in protest against the greedy banks and corporations and government bailouts amid the economic crisis.
Meanwhile, Bayan hit the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) public consultation, also held today, on the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the Cybercrime Law, saying that will not correct the deep-seated and fundamental flaws of the new law. The public consultation should have been done before, when Congress was still deliberating the bill, argued Bayan.
In addition to Bayan and its member organizations, other participating groups in today’s protest include Kabataan partylist, Bayan Muna, National Union of Journalist of the Philippines (NUJP), National Union of Peoples Lawyers (NUPL), Filipino Free Thinkers, Computer Professionals Union (CPU), Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA), Samahan ng Tunay na mga Makabayan, Concerned Artists of the Philippines (CAP), Bulatlat.com, Pinoy Weekly, Burgos Media Center and Kodao Multimedia. (End)