Tag Archives: Anti-Cyber Crime Law

[Statement] 28 years after the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship, cyber-martial law is now here to repress us -SANLAKAS

28 years after the ouster of the Marcos dictatorship, cyber-martial law is now here to repress us

Today marks exactly twenty-eight years since the much-hated fascist Marcos Dictatorship was ousted by the Filipino masses in their millions across the Philippines, especially at EDSA.  As the chief architect of Martial Law in September 1972, Ferdinand Marcos, together with his brutish reactionary minions, collapsed and fell under the collective and united will of the broad masses on February 25, 1986.  Yet, although they have not totally forgotten our country’s historic past, the people’s political spirit must always continue to remain vigilant and even more aflame today.

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The ousted anti-democratic regime was merely replaced with a liberal democratic one under the leadership of yet another faction of the Philippine ruling-elite. This replacement regime, however, never brought about any real and genuine economic, social and political change throughout our society.  For nearly thirty years now, our society’s poor majority continues to remain marginalized, exploited and oppressed.  Thus after EDSA-1, the 99% social majority was never liberated from a social-economic system that persists in upholding a class-divided Philippine society on the basis of a few rich and powerful elite harshly ruling over the poor working-class masses in a near-permanent manner.

For almost three decades already, all Philippine presidents and their respective governments have only successfully pursued an anti-poor neoliberal policy agenda.  In direct collaboration with local and foreign big capitalist interests and deliberately kept under the external dictation of American imperialism, the Philippine state’s traditional political leadership has never consciously committed itself to uphold our people’s general welfare and sovereign aspirations through any necessary systemic change.  On the contrary, the highly reactionary ruling elite, largely characterized by the trapo political dynasties, continually tries to find various ways and means to keep the poor masses locked out from attaining a far better life for themselves.  As such, even the pursuit of a basic set of much-needed policy reforms to alleviate the dire social-economic conditions of the masses is simply out of the question for all the Malacañang occupiers—from Cory Aquino until her son today, PNoy.

Our country’s present national situation has already clearly reached a dangerously-worse condition.  In fact, it is already creeping into a pre-crisis situation given the many political-economic indicators since the start of 2014 alone. These inter-connected developments may yet spark a new and open political crisis that could still put the PNoy Regime into question before his constitutional term is even reached.  This is the same fateful presidential lesson that the Marcos Dictatorship failed to understand 28 years ago today.

In fact, today’s Philippine neoliberal economic framework has openly brought about a swiftly deteriorating social-economic situation for many of our poor masses, including the rapidly declining middle class.  The institutionalized combination of an economic track that fundamentally upholds a privatization-liberalization-deregulation-contractualization-public-private partnership agenda is only steadily killing and terrorizing the lives of our people and the future of our society. The nightmare of a never-ending cycle of high prices and almost inaccessible basic essential services are just a mere reflection of the systemic monstrosity which the capitalist-controlled post-EDSA-1 Philippine state unleashed upon the masses and which, it never bothered to correct at all.  Closely manifested by this capitalist system, is a national dose of near-daily political scandals and scams, almost all of them bearing graft and corruption issues and concerns; an anti-progressive, militaristically-provocative and non-internationalist foreign policy thrust directly aligned with mainly US imperialist-led global interests; and, a climate justice-insensitive mode of thinking which fails to comprehend and prepare for the long-term impacts of climate change upon the Philippines.

And yet in this setting, we now have a recent wave of human rights and democratic freedoms-related threats initiated by no less than the only son of Ninoy and Cory Aquino.  In this regard, we continue to witness a trend of human rights violations—in both the civil-political and economic-social-cultural realms—such as those that largely emerged from the Marcos Dictatorship and were again highlighted during the almost one-decade-reign of the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Regime.  But what is perhaps surprising to some is the factual and democratically-unsympathetic behavior of PNoy himself in relation to the Malacañang-appointed leadership of the new Human Rights Violations Claims Board. In particular, the appointment of a retired police general to chair the Claims Board is bringing about a vicious howl from many pro-democratic forces and individuals from across society.  This government body is principally tasked to oversee the process of proper compensations for the victims of human rights violations during the Marcos Dictatorship.  Ironically, it is now headed by a former top officer of the Philippine state security apparatus which was directly in the frontline of causing massive human rights violations, grave harm and many deaths to many democracy and social justice activists decades ago.

More ominous still, is the PNoy Regime’s public defense of the Cybercrime Law of 2012 (Republic Act 10175), including its provisions related to cyber-libel concerns and state-security surveillance matters.  In effect, what we are now facing under this law is a rising ‘Cyber Martial Law’, or even a ‘Cyber Dictatorship’ environment affecting both the online and offline democratic spaces and freedoms now enjoyed by everybody in Philippine society as a whole—a national condition that was brought about by the hard-fought and well-won struggles of the Filipino masses before, during and after EDSA-1.  This is now a frightening specter threatening Philippine democracy if this law is allowed to remain in place.

Thus, as our people today commemorate EDSA-1, SANLAKAS once again calls upon the general public, all true democratic forces and freedom-loving individuals to continue to remain vigilant in guarding our country’s hard-won democratic space and civil-political freedoms.  At the same time, SANLAKAS stands firmly and solidly with the broad-based progressive mass movement in our collectively principled struggles aimed at advancing and building a truly politically-free, economically-liberating and socially-just Philippines.  And as one of the many steps forward to attain this progressive vision, SANLAKAS now freely states its defiant rejection of the PNoy Regime’s anti-democratic maneuvers to once again repress the Filipino masses.  Hence, we loudly and proudly shout out:  “Never Again to any type of Dictatorship! Stop Cyber Martial Law! Scrap the Cybercrime Law Now!”.

*For more information, please contact:  Mr. RASTI DELIZO
(SANLAKAS Political Affairs Coordinator/Celfone# 09998092461)

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[Event/Campaign] BLACK TUESDAY at EDSA: Protest action to #StopCyberMartialLaw -PIFA

Stop Cyber ML event

Cyber Martial Law has been declared. Our freedom has been killed. EDSA is grieving.

Join us on February 25, 28th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution, as we once again fight for our freedom. (Check event page for details/updates –
https://www.facebook.com/events/474592745997566/?ref=22)

#StopCyberMartialLaw

Black Tuesday EDSA

[Press Release] Legal but not legit says Amnesty International on SC ruling for cyber-libel -AIph

Legal but not legit says Amnesty International on SC ruling for cyber-libel

“News of the Supreme Court decision to uphold the cyber-libel provision of the Cybercrime Prevention Act is a cause of concern for the enjoyment of freedom of expression as it cements the further expansion of the reach of the highly questionable Philippine Libel Law handed down from penal laws of former colonial administrations,” said Romel Cardenas De Vera, Human Rights Officer of Amnesty International Philippines, in a statement.

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In September 2012, the Cybercrime Prevention Act was signed into law. A month after, a temporary restraining order was issued, which was later on extended pending the decision of the Supreme Court after 16 petitions questioning the law were filed by human rights groups, Internet users, journalists, bloggers, and academics. Oral deliberations followed in January 2013.

“The Supreme Courts’ decision to strike down provisions that are unconstitutional but leaving space for online libel, which is constitutional as far as the original author is concerned, gives mixed signals as it still rolls back protections for free speech in the Philippines. It remains that under this provision, a peaceful posting on the Internet could still result in a prison sentence,” explained De Vera.

The law has broadly extended criminal libel to apply to acts committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.

“There is so much that the citizens of the Philippines have to speak out about as the country suffers from widespread corruption and poverty and also having one of the worst records on extra judicial killings of activists and journalists in the Maguindanao Massacre,” recalls De Vera.

De Vera added that the cyber-libel provision is a late inclusion to the Cybercrime Prevention Bill when it was still in both Houses of Congress.

“Many of the multimillion peso libel cases filed in our Philippine courts were by legislators, executive officials and even a sitting Supreme Court Justice. It is not farfetched that the cyber libel provision will be used against anyone seeking state and corporate accountability for abuses and violations of human rights,” De Vera said.

In January 2011, the UN Human Rights Committee found the Philippines’s criminalization of libel to be “incompatible” with the freedom of expression clause in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

“The UNHRC has already decided on October 2011 that our libel law is inconsistent with the enjoyment of freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) which the Philippines had ratified,” added De Vera.

Article 2.2 of the ICCPR states that ‘each State Party to the present Covenant undertakes to take the necessary steps, in accordance with its constitutional processes and with the provisions of the present Covenant, to adopt such laws or other measures as may be necessary to give effect to the rights recognized in the present Covenant’.

“The Philippine government must focus on making our laws in consonance with international human rights standards and not strengthen more laws used for stifling dissent against those in authority. Amnesty International believes that the Supreme Court must hear petitions for review of its ruling and abide by our international human rights obligations.” Concluded De Vera.

Source: amnesty.org.ph

Amnesty International Philippines
Press Release
19 February 2014

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[From the web] The high court should not abdicate its duty to protect freedom of expression. By Harry Roque

The high court should not abdicate its duty to protect freedom of expression
by Harry Roque
February 18, 2014

“The high court should not abdicate its duty to protect freedom of expression. No less than the U.N. Human Rights Committee has already declared that Philippine Criminal Libel Law is contrary to Freedom of Expression. The Court’s decision failing to declare libel as unconstitutional is therefore contrary to Human Rights Law.

Atty. Harry Roque Photo: http://humanrightshouse.org

Atty. Harry Roque Photo: http://humanrightshouse.org

“Centerlaw and our client, Alexander Adonis, welcome the other provisions of the Act such as the Take Down clause and the decision to strike down the real time gathering of information. This is indeed a major victory for privacy and the right of the people
to be secure in their communication.

Read full article @harryroque.com

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[Statement] PIFA on #StopCyberMartialLaw and #TheDayWeFightBack global action against mass surveillance

PIFA protest at SCDear All,

Below is a sign-on statement in support of the call to repeal Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and to end mass surveillance.

If you or your organization wants to sign, kindly email nicadumlao@yahoo.com.

Thanks!
———————————————————————–

Nica Dumlao
Program Coordinator
Internet Rights
Foundation for Media Alternatives

Unit 209; No. 77 Xavierville Ave. cor B. Gonzales St.
Loyola Heights, Quezon City
Philippines 1108
+632 435 6684; +632 433 8581
Skype: nicadumlao

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STATEMENT on #STOPCYBERMARTIALLAW and #THEDAYWEFIGHTBACK GLOBAL ACTION AGAINST MASS SURVEILLANCE
 
11 February 2014

We, the undersigned organizations and individuals, join the global call for the end to arbitrary and mass surveillance and collection of personal data, and support the struggle to repeal Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

In this age of the internet, the rights and freedoms that peoples’ struggles have long won are again facing imminent threats of repression and denial. Last year, through Edward Snowden, we learned of the massive and systematic digital surveillance perpetrated by the world’s governments, all without adequate public oversight and without citizens’ knowledge and consent. In many countries, from the United States and the United Kingdom to the Southeast Asian region, these fundamental rights and freedoms are in danger of being eroded and are being eroded by laws and policies extending censorship and control to the internet.

We assert that policies and actions of indiscriminate and arbitrary collection of personal data interfere with and violate the freedoms of expression and of association, and of access to and exchange of information and ideas—freedom and rights that are enshrined in international human rights laws and standards, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and that are essential to the preservation and perpetuation of democracy. Mass surveillance does not have a place in a free and democratic society.

We join the chorus of voices of peoples from all over the globe in calling upon all governments to uphold the right of all individuals to use information and communications technologies such as the Internet without fear of unwarranted interference.

To this end, we commit to the continuing struggle for the advancement of fundamental human rights, and support the calls of the movement for internet freedom in the Philippines for:

1. Repeal of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012;
2. Public Participation in crafting policies that seek to govern or regulate the internet, in order to safeguard internet freedom; and,
3. Recognition and respect of the private sector of human rights.

We express our solidarity with the united movements of human rights and internet freedom defenders across the globe. Today we #StopCyberMartialLaw! Today is #TheDayWeFightBack!

(initial signatories):

Asia-Pacific Solidarity Coalition (APSOC)
Dakila Artist Collective
Foundation for Media Alternatives
Gender and Development Advocates (GANDA) – Filipinas
Human Rights Online Philippines
Initiatives for International Dialogue (IID)
Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance
Sanlakas
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP)
Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau

[Event/Campaign] Global Action against Mass Surveillance -PIFA

Global Action against Mass Surveillance
By Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA)

Dear members and friends of PIFA,

Our fight against Cybercrime Law is not yet over. The Supreme Court still has not decided on its constitutionality or unconstitutionality and while we are waiting for a decision, we will continue fighting for our right to privacy and right to freedom of expression. On February 11, there will be a global action against mass surveillance.

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The Cybercrime Law, once declared to be implemented, will become a tool for the Philippine government’s mass surveillance. As defenders of Internet freedom, we will be one with the world in the global protest.

In line with this, we encourage you to join us in the following activities:

Feb 10 – “Eye Selfie” meme viral We will be having a viral campaign to tell the government that we are watching them too and that this time, we are fighting back. We encourage you to take a selfie of your eye, upload it on your social media accounts and use the hashtag # (visit our facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PIFA.ph for updates)

Feb 11 – Protest at the Supreme Court On Feb 11, we will be at the Supreme Court to protest against the Cybercrime Law and mass surveillance.

Feb 11 – Sticker bombing at U-Belt in Manila At the same time of the protest at the Supreme Court, we will be giving out stickers at the University Belt in Taft, Manila to make them aware of the still existing Cybercrime Law and the dangers of mass surveillance. We hope to see your participation in these activities. It is the time we fight back.

Sincerely,
PIFA
https://www.facebook.com/PIFA.ph
https://www.facebook.com/events/581260318627556/

[Press Release] Black Tuesday: Mourning For Freedom of Expression Both Online and Offline -PIFA

Black Tuesday: Mourning For Freedom of Expression Both Online and Offline

PIFA smallThe Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA) continues its protest against the Cybercrime Law as the oral arguments resumed at the Supreme Court today after it has suspended its oral arguments last week.

“We hope that the oral arguments will not be postponed today as it was last week. It seems like a delaying tactic until the temporary restraining order is lifted next week, February 6,” Red Tani, PIFA spokesperson said.

The Supreme Court gave a temporary restraining order on the the Cybercrime Prevention Act after 15 petitioners, including PIFA, questioned the constitutionality of the law. The petitioners have cited the libel clause and the takedown clause as two provisions of the bill which are not constitutional. Women’s groups have also raised their concerns about the cyber sex provision which they say incriminates more than protects women.

“We will remain vigilant until this law is repealed. We are in mourning for the death of our freedom of expression both online and offline,” Tani added.

At the eve of the oral arguments, Carlos Celdran, a known cultural activist, was found guilty of “offending religious feeling” and is faced with two months to a year of imprisonment. The case was filed by Monsignor Nestor Cerbo of the Manila Cathedral after Celdran staged a protest inside the Manila Cathedral on September 30, 2010 after

“Our freedom to express ourselves is a right. People have risen and fought for this right and we saw in the Martial Law years how much people are willing to fight for it,” Ayeen Karunungan, PIFA Spokesperson and leader of the Dakila Artist Collective said.

“Now our fears that our freedom of expression is slowly being killed has come true and the government has proven that they are an instrument to this crime,” Karunungan added.

PIFA is a broad alliance of organizations and individuals who stand together to protect our basic rights to liberty and dignity – including the right to privacy, and freedom of expression, speech, sexuality, and mobility – on the Internet and who opposes RA 10175 which contains provisions that are oppressive, susceptible to abuse, and against the fundamental liberties guaranteed by the Constitution. It is an open alliance and anyone who share the same advocacy may join.

PRESS RELEASE
Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA)
29 January 2013

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[Press Release] Come out Clean, SC told Activists warn of “PNoy’s Watergate” if TRO on Cybercrime Law ends -Sanlakas

Come out Clean, SC told Activists warn of “PNoy’s Watergate” if TRO on Cybercrime Law ends

“Don’t stain your clean record.”

sanlakas-logo2This is the message of activist group Sanlakas to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno as it trooped in front of the Supreme Court a day before the first en banc session on the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act.
With its members wearing white, Sanlakas asked the High Court to keep its track record clean and prove independence from Malacanang on the issue.

“Sereno has so far shown her autonomy from the President when she issued a temporary restraining order on the cybercrime law. She is facing her second test and we wish she will pass it with flying colors,” said Sanlakas National Spokesperson James Miraflor.

Miraflor, one of the petitioners against the law, expressed Sanlakas’ confidence on the Supreme Court process, but asked the netizens to remain vigilant during the remaining weeks of the restraining order.
“Cyber martial law was paused for the moment because people poured to streets and protested against it. We need to do it again if we are to permanently put a stop to this law,” Miraflor said.

Pnoy’s Watergate

Sanlakas warned that the TRO expiring during the campaign season for the 2013 elections allows for an Aquino version of a “Watergate scandal” to a happen.

“Imagine if this law becomes operational on February 6. If an unscrupulous government official decides to use the police to hack a political opponent’s device and get information, they can do so, and no one would even know it,” Miraflor said.

Sanlakas alludes to the Watergate Scandal that wracked the United States in 1972 and forced the resignation of incumbent Republican President Richard Nixon who just won a landslide victory in 1971.

Sanlakas explained that Watergate Scandal involved a systematic break-in and information theft on the opponents of the Nixon administration during the 1971 campaign period, which the government attempted to cover up.

“There is a real danger that the Cybercrime Prevention Act will be used ala Watergate to keep tabs on, and hack the devices of, politicians and activists running against administration candidates this 2013,” Miraflor warned.

“There is an imminent danger of fallout here, even if administration candidates eventually win. Will Aquino allow that?,” Miraflor asked.

FOI Instead

Sanlakas also asked the Aquino administration “not to waste its energies” trying to defend the law, and instead focus on making sure that the Freedom of Information Bill is passed.

“We don’t think it will be productive for the Palace to spend taxpayers money in rescuing a seriously flawed law when it has to rush its allies to pass a bill the people actually wants,” Miraflor said.

Sanlakas said that with the FOI taking effect during the campaign season of 2013 elections, voters can demand more information on candidates and will be able to vote better.

“What we need for 2013 elections is not a law which allows to government to spy on you, but law which empowers voters to check out the candidates,” Miraflor concluded.-30-

January 14, 2013
PRESS RELEASE
Contact Person: James Miraflor, National Spokesperson @ 0927-613-2068
Val De Guzman, Media Liason @ 0919-965-7509

Visit http://www.sanlakas.ph for more details.

Address: 115-D Barangay Paraiso, SFDM, QC
Telephone: 415-9400
Email: sanlakas14@ gmail.com
Follow us on twitter: sanlakas14.

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[In the news] #NoToCybercimeLaw: Take action on January 15 -POC

#NoToCybercimeLaw: Take action on January 15
by Vencer Crisostomo, http://www.thepoc.net
January 13, 2013

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Various groups are set to hold a protest march in front of the Supreme Court (SC) in Manila on Tuesday as the oral arguments against President Noynoy Aquino’s Cybercrime Law are set to be heard.

Earlier today, petitioners of the 15 petitions filed against the law, which form the #NoToCybercrimeLaw coalition announced their plans for the “Black Tuesday Protest” to call on the high court to junk “cyber martial law.”

Protest activities already started on Friday as netizens turned their social media profile photos to black. A picket protest was held in front of the SC and students in campuses displayed black banners to call on people to join the protests.

Rea
d full article @www.thepoc.net

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