PHILIPPINES: IFJ welcomes Supreme Court temporary restraining order against Cybercrime law
Thursday, October 11, 2012
MANILA (International Federation of Journalists / Pacific Media Watch): The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists Philippines (NUJP) in welcoming the October 9 decision by the Supreme Court of the Philippines to issue a temporary restraining order against the implementation of RA 10175 - the Cybercrime Prevention Act, also known as the Cybercrime law.
The Cybercrime law has been broadly criticised and serious concerns have been raised regarding its potential to negatively impact freedom of expression, particularly as the scope of criminal libel under the law extends to all online expression.
The 120-day restraining order against the implementation of the Cybercrime law followed extensive protests led by the NUJP with members of the media, bloggers, netizens, human rights groups, people’s organisations, progressive legislators, questioning the legitimacy of the law and demanding its repeal.
“It is the very least the Supreme Court can do confronted with a blatantly unconstitutional and repressive law” said the NUJP. While the NUJP welcome the temporary restraining order as a brief respite, they remain cautious and call on the national legislators to dismantle the law.
“The IFJ applauds the defenders of freedom of expression in the Philippines for their steadfast stand against the Cybercrime law. We join the NUJP in calling on the Supreme Court to repeal the law which is in contradiction with the country’s constitution and obligations under international law. We further call on the legislators in the Philippines to decriminalise libel and pass the Freedom of Information Bill” said IFJ Asia-Pacific director Jacqueline Park.
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