UP law professor questions legality of cybercrime law

26 Sep

AN assistant law professor of the University of the Philippines (UP) and several others on Wednesday filed another petition questioning the constitutionality of some provisions of Republic Act No. 10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Lawyer Jose Jesus M. Disini, Jr. and taxpayers Rowena S. Disini, Lianne Ivy P. Medina, Janette Toral, and Ernesto Sonido, Jr., who lodged a 31-page petition for certiorari and prohibition, told the Supreme Court (SC) to hold down the implementation of the provisions for “violating the fundamental rights” enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

In the petition, the implementation of Sec. 4 (c) [4], 6, 7, 12, and 19 of the law which was signed into law by Pres. Aquino on Sept. 12 was sought to be restrained through a temporary restraining order (TRO).

Among the agencies impleaded in the petition include the Dept. of Justice (DOJ), Dept. of Interior and Local Govt. (DILG), Commission on Information and Communications Technology (CICT), Philippine National Police (PNP), and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

These provisions, according to the petition, “are constitutionally infirm.”

The petition argued that these provisions “restrict the fundamental rights to free speech and the freedom of the press with respect to online content in the same way a totalitarian state would do so — through unrestricted and unregulated censorship.”

Petitioners said that the Cybercrime Act violates free speech and that Sections 6 and 7 of the
Cybercrime Act violate the double jeopardy and equal protections clauses of the Constitution; and the real time data collection of traffic data violates the right to privacy and the right against unreasonable searches and seizure.

Besides Disini, et al.’s petition, two petitions of businessman Louis “Barok” Biraogo and Party list Alab ng Mamamahayag have also been filed before the high court assailing the same provisions of RA 10175. (mtimes)

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