CHILLING EFFECT

October 2, 2012

A law professor shared with us the contention of Fr. Joaquin Bernas with regard the RA 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law. It confirmed my initial understanding that indeed, said law violates our rule on double jeopardy being that after being charged under said law, prosecution for RPC crimes are not barred. This, notwithstanding that conviction under said law would mean a penalty one degree higher than that provided for in the RPC.Our country is a signatory to a treaty that seeks to decriminalize libel. So with this law, we are in effect dishonoring said international agreement. The provision that provides for seizure of data based on a prima facie finding by the Justice Secretary without need for warrant was also reacted upon.

It is contended that only an amendment will cure the defects of RA 10175, and not IRRs from administrative bodies. But then again I ask: Is the chilling effect that it gives tantamount to “prior restraint”?

 

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