Anti-cybercrime law co-author open to amendments

7 October 2012

ONE of the co-authors of the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 said he is willing to sit down with groups who are against it and make amendments of the bill.

Representative Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro) said he is open for amendments to prevent double jeopardy and protect the Filipino's freedom of speech particularly among journalists.

"That should not be the case as would-be complainants can only choose one libel suit either under the Revised Penal Code or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012," Rodriguez told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.

Despite widespread criticisms, Rodriguez said that the law is needed considering that the cyberspace is a zone of impunity where an individual can now begin to attack and malign his enemy with the use of internet without any sanction.

The controversial Cybercrime law took effect on October 3 wherein various media organizations nationwide including Cagayan de Oro launched their protests against its implementation.

Rodriguez earlier defended the new law citing that the provisions are "constitutional."

He said it should not be seen as a cause of offense to the Filipino people's freedom of speech.

Meanwhile, Senator Edgardo Angara, author and sponsor of the Cybercrime law, said he will file a bill to amend his own law. While defending the need for it, he also admitted that it has flaws.

"Not all the laws that we pass are perfect. At least in this case we are responsive," he added.

Angara also said he wants to lower the penalty for violations. The law imposed sanctions one degree higher than those provided for the Revised Penal Code and wants the law to have equal penalties as the Code.