On my unconventional point of view…
The Philippines is once again united to battle a greater cause brought about by its near-failing, if not selfish government today. We are all faced with a threat and presented with an obvious circumstance that cultured fear in all of us in losing our right to freedom of expression. One case presented by many can never be enough to suppress and oppress the better understanding of the majority. We are a democratic country and by all virtues and decree fought by our forefathers, I believe that this recent move done by our governement is a complete testimony to their will-of-power and underlying intents.
“Kayo ang boss ko.” Clearly stated by the newly elected president back then when he delivered his first ever speech to the nation. It was a vague and flowery statement that tickled the ears of the mediocre, almost 3/4 of the entire Filipino population if I’m not rudely mistaken. That statement alone paved the way for unreliable ratings to rise, some of which measured the XFactor and popularity of the seated official other than measure his actual performance and contribution to the uplifting of our economy. It is not anymore a surprise if the Cyber Prevention Act of 2012 was signed without any prior engagement to the people of this nation because if there is really any interest to protect then that would be the interest of these officials in protecting their ratings and keeping their votes coming.
Moving forward, I perceive this act as a threat. A threat to my freedom, to your freedom, and most importantly a threat to the entire nation. Believe me, even in just writing this post I feel afraid not knowing if I’ll wake up in jail tomorrow or spring out from my bed in the morning because authorities are already knocking on my doorstep, but nevertheless; hear me still. I am afraid, but I will not back down. I will speak out for I am a part of the majority, the majority who seeks for their right to exercise their freedom of expression without any prejudice that will be imposed upon by the state they so well serve.
Now let’s talk about the internet and the provision in the act which tarnished the good in it that should’ve protected its sovereignty. The internet is a place for collective knowledge, it is where people share and interact with others to disseminate information. Though we cannot obviously deny that some are false pretenses; that is already up to the consumer to decide. We do not have the appropriation in any way to dictate what they should absorb and what they should not. Knowledge is power, in fact, it is a great power that can either build or break a nation. If you limit the flow of knowledge then you start to limit the flow of information. You start to choke the people of their right to know. Slowly and surely you’re killing the spirit of oneness and integrity. This is not what nation building is about. TRANSPARENCY, one of the many words advocated by the man placed in position by his mother and father; but where will you find transparency in a nation that punishes honesty? Where will you find transparency if you teach people to not tell? And where will you find transparency in a newly formed law that clearly violates our constitution? In an official statement released by the Palace this morning, it was clarified and clearly stated that:
a.) Questions have been raised about the constitutionality of certain provisions of the Act. We recognize and respect efforts not only to raise these issues in court, but to propose amendments to the law in accordance with constitutional processes.
b.) Let us bear in mind the law that binds us all: the Constitution. Our Constitution is clear and uncompromising in the civil liberties it guarantees all our people. As the basic law, its guarantees cannot, and will not, be diminished or reduced by any law passed by Congress.
c.) (they) We would therefore like to point out that no government entity has moved to deprive anyone of access to the Internet or to suppress civil liberties as exercised online.
(read full statement here.)
This is by all means appreciated, but the mere fact that the passing of this bill has been done immaturely if not hastily; then they ask from us to question their real objectives and underlying plans in stirring up the waters in the first place. Our constitution favors and protects its people. It surely binds us all together as one race fighting for one great cause; and that is to be of service to the nation, to its people, and to God. They may not be depriving us from access to the WWW or suppress directly our right to be heard, but they are posing a serious threat. A government that now clearly work against its people.
Sec. 4) Libel – The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.
1987 Constitution – Sec. 4) No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peacaebly to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.
If there is anything libelous about this post, please refer to the Constitution and if that provision stated above does not protect me well, then let me tell you how I f*cking hate to be Filipino!
In conclusion, let there be ammendments in the law. Omit the provision for libel and retain everything else. Speaking is not a crime. Anything you find online is not official unless published or boradcasted in a national publication or network. The difference between both must be clearly recognized. The internet is not a place of impunity, it is a place where everyone gets to have a fair share of information and validate it by themselves. It is a place where transparency is truthfully practiced and where your words will find its way to million others who may or may not agree with you. Everything online is of no harm and no official bearing, unless proven true but fallicious in printed documents and/or recorded actions.
For purposes of detailed and technical understanding of the ramification brought about by the newly passed bill, kindly read this article posted on Rappler here.
I’d greatly appreciate your comment and feedback on this. Let us all together unite and fight for our freedom! We are a democratic nation and we fight together for one greater cause; for the people of this nation, for its people we vow to serve, and for the glory of God!