Davao media, militants support petitions vs anti-cybercrime law

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/03 October) —  Journalists and militant groups in this city expressed support Tuesday to the petitions questioning the constitutionality of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act, signed by President Aquino last September 12.

RA 10175 will become effective today as the Supreme Court deferred action on the petitions against the law due to absences of some justices, and they will deliberate on it again next Tuesday.

Media practitioners here signed the online petition (http://www.nujp.org/no-to-ra10175) which will be jointly filed at the SC by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Philippine Press Institute (PPI), and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) today.

The petition to be filed by journalists, news organizations, and press freedom advocates seeks an urgent relief by way of an Immediate Restraining Order (IRO) “to annul and/or restrain the implementation of specific portions of Republic Act No. 10175 for being unconstitutional.”

It cited, for instance, that the delegation of the power to promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations [of the law] to the secretaries of justice and interior and local government will be an “unlawful delegation of legislative powers and result in arbitrariness.”

Some reporters and photojournalists who attended the cybercrime law discussion at the Philippine Information Agency office here symbolically signed their names on a placard with a text criticizing the now controversial legislation.

Meanwhile, militant groups led by Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) Southern Mindanao, staged a protest action against the cybercrime law with placards saying, “Junk cybercrime law of Aquino! Defend the right to press freedom.”

The seventh group to file the petition with the Supreme Court, Bayan said several provisions of RA 10175 are “unconstitutional”.

Among those that joined Bayan’s protest action were the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Karapatan, Courage, Anakpawis, Gabriela and national artist Bienvenido Lumbrera.

Kabataan party-list Rep. Raymond Palatino filed the sixth petition, while the other five petitions against RA 10175 were Louis Biraogo, ALAM partylist, Disni et al, Adonis et al, and Senator Teofisto Guingona III. (Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews)