Media Advisory: Media groups file motion seeking cyber libel unconstitutional

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, together with the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Philippine Press Institute and other journalist groups have filed today (Mar. 12) a motion asking the Supreme Court (SC) to nullify questionable provisions in the Cybercrime Prevention Act, including the one on online libel.

The petition seeks to declare online libel in Sec. 4(C)4 of the said act unconstitutional because it constitutes prior restraint and curtails our basic rights to free speech and expression, an anachronism in an age when, around the world, libel has been decriminalized.

The petition cited the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the Philippines is a party. The said covenant upholds the right to free speech and expression, and maintains no defamation law shall be passed stifling these freedoms.

Petitioners likewise sought to invalidate sections which unduly delegated judicial and legislative powers to law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice.

Attached to this advisory is a .doc copy of the petition, filed at 3:00 pm today before the SC.
For reference

Rowena Paraan
Chairperson

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