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Bloggers file tenth petition vs. Cybercrime Law


And so Tonyo Cruz, the Professional Heckler, and Pinoy Gossip Boy —some of the most famous names in the Philippine blogging and social networking community— have joined the growing opposition to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
 
A group of bloggers on Thursday filed with the Supreme Court the tenth petition questioning the constitutionality of the controversial Republic Act 10175, a day after the law took effect.
 
The 18 petitioners included Anthony Ian "Tonyo" Cruz, Marcelo Landicho (professionalheckler.wordpress.com), Benjamin Noel Espina, Marck Ronald Rimorin, Julius Rocas, Oliver Richard Robillo, Aaron Erick Lozada (pinoygossipboy.ph), Gerard Adrian Magnaye, Ruben Lucera Jr of the Cebu Bloggers Society Inc, and Pedro Rahon of the Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards Inc.
 
Named respondents were President Benigno Aquino III, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa, Justice Sec. Leila de Lima, and the respective heads of the Information and  Communication Technology Office, thr Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation.
 
In its petition for certiorari and prohibition, the bloggers said the Cybercrime Law several of their "inaliemable civil rights under the Constitution... (and) indisputable entitlements under the Bill of Rights," including:
 
  • the right to due process and equal protection of the law:
  • the right against unreasonable searches and seizures;
  • the right to privacy of communication and correspondence;
  • the right to free speech and expression; and
  • the right against double jeopardy.
 
As in earlier petitions filed by separate groups, the bloggers also questioned the constitutionality of key provisions of the law:
 
  • Sec. 4(c)(4) (Libel); 
  • Sec. 5(a) (Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime); 
  • Sec. 6 (inclusion of all felonies and crimes within coverage of the law),  
  • Sec. 7 (Liability under Other Laws),  Sec. 12 (Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data), and
  • Sec. 19 (Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data).
The petitiomers called on the high court to step in and "correct a grave and serious injustice and transgression of the Constitution."
 
As of this writing, there are 10 separate petitions against the Cybercrime Law, all asking the high court to stop its implementation and declare it or portions of it unconstitutional.
 
Among the other petitioners where those filed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III; journalists, bloggers, lawyers led by University of thw Philippines Law professor Harry Roque; a group of lawyers from the Ateneo School of Law; and some 250 journalists lwd by the National Union of Journalists of thw Philippines and the Center for Media Freedom and Reaponsibility.
 
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court en banc deferred deliberations on the numerous petitions and decided instead to tackle them in next week's session, in which the magistrates would decide whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order against the law. — TJD, GMA News
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