Group urges youth to continue fight vs cybercrime law

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/7 February)—A leader of Kabataan Partylist has urged the youth to remain steadfast in opposing the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act or Republic Act 10175.

Bai Ali Indayla, second nominee of Kabataan Partylist, issued the call Wednesday before 100 youth and students assembling at the Freedom Park here.

“The youth must courageously be at the forefront of the fight to junk the repressive cybercrime prevention law. It is the vital role of the youth as catalyst for social change,” she said in an interview.

The youth group led a protest rally to call for participation in the campaign to abolish the cybercrime law, noting that the Supreme Court’s (SC) decision to extend indefinitely the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) manifested that “through militant and united action, victory can be achieved.”

The TRO extension was issued Tuesday, a day before the end of 150-day stay order issued last October, following protests and 15 petitions filed with the high tribunal.

The petitioners have questioned, among others, the constitutionality of the cybercrime law and the inclusion of libel among the cybercrime offenses, which they argued will suppress freedom of speech and expression in the internet.

One of the petitioners, Kabataan Partylist said in a statement the extension was “a result of the people’s united action in their aim to abolish the law.”

Dubbing the cybercrime law as “e-Martial Law”, the group said it gained massive opposition from various sectors who asserted that the law contained several unconstitutional provisions believed to threaten the constitutional rights to freedom of expression and free speech.

Indayla said with the SC’s latest decision, the petitioners against the cybercrime law “gained a big leap to continue the call to junk it,” adding that the youth will not stop amid the TRO extension and that they will continue their fight until the law will be totally abolished.

The youth should stand in unity to stop oppressive state policies such as the cybercrime law as they compose majority of the internet users, the group said.

“We [still] need to act for the next step of this fight until the total elimination of the cybercrime law,” Indayla said.

Also a petitioner, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in a Feb. 5 statement, “Let us continue protesting and pounding on government’s doors until this law and everyone who sought to foist it on us are relegated to where they rightly belong – the garbage heap.”

“Yes, let us not stop even if victory is ours. We should not stop until those who dare think of robbing us of our rights and liberties are brought to account,” the NUJP said. (Lorie Ann A. Cascaro/MindaNews)