PHILIPPINES: Online, offline protests vs Cybercrime Law mark EDSA I anniversary

Friday 28 February 2014

Date: 26 February 2014

Type: News

Source:Bulatlat.com

Keywords: Martial Law, Protest, EDSA I

“By extending the reach of the antediluvian libel law into cyberspace, the Supreme Court has suddenly made a once infinite venue for expression into an arena of fear, a hunting ground for the petty and vindictive, the criminal and autocratic.” — NUJP

By RONALYN V. OLEA Bulatlat.com

MANILA – To commemorate the 28th Edsa People Power I uprising, netizens, journalists, students and other petitioners trooped to the Edsa Shrine Feb. 25 to protest what they dubbed as electronic martial law.

Wearing black, the protesters denounced the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act 10175 as a threat to internet freedom, freedom of expression and free press.

Online, netizens changed their DPs and profile pictures in social media to black. Many others posted and shared memes. Several government websites were hacked.

Dubbed as the Black Tuesday, the protest is the first after the Supreme Court issued its ruling on the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

“The Cybercrime Prevention Act criminalizes our freedom of expression,” blogger Tonyo Cruz said in Filipino. Cruz noted that the Cybercrime Law imposes higher penalties for online libel, from a minimum of six months imprisonment in the Revised Penal Code to a minimum of six years.

Journalists and netizens are not convinced with President Benigno Aquino III’s defense of online libel. “…But I repeat, if you are saying the truth, why would you fear libel?” Aquino was quoted as saying in a report.

Rupert Mangilit, secretary general of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), read the statement of media organization.

“By extending the reach of the antediluvian libel law into cyberspace, the Supreme Court has suddenly made a once infinite venue for expression into an arena of fear, a hunting ground for the petty and vindictive, the criminal and autocratic,” Mangilit said.###

See online : Bulatlat.com

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