Bloggers, netizens file ‘motion for partial reconsideration’ on SC’s Cybercrime ruling

‘Don’t criminalize Filipinos’ modern, changing way of life’

Bloggers and Netizens for Democracy, the group composed of petitioners in GR 203469 (Cruz et al vs. Aquino et al), is set to file today its motion for partial reconsideration seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling on the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

In its 41-page motion for partial reconsideration, BAND said that “the Honorable Court should not allow itself to be a party to the criminalization of the Filipino people’s modern, changing way of life.”

“If unchallenged and unchanged, the remnants of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, together with the Questioned Decision will make the Constitution and the people’s way of life collateral damage in the fight against new forms of crimes involving technology and the economy,” said BAND.

Blogger Tonyo Cruz, BAND convenor and one of the petitioners, said “the court should join Filipinos in making sure the Philippine portion of the Internet remains free. We wish to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Philippines’ first live internet connection which happened on March 29, 1994, in complete freedom and sans the chilling effects of this badly-crafted and unconstitutional law.”

BAND is asking the court to strike down the following provisions as unconstitutional for blatantly violating multiple clauses of the Constitution including those on Free Speech, Due Process, Against Double Jeopardy, and Equal Protection: Section 4(c)4 on libel and the libel provisions of the Revised Penal Code; Sec. 5 on aiding and abetting in the commission of cybercrime, and attempt in the commission of cybercrime; Section 6 on the application of the Cybercrime Law on the whole Revised Penal Code and the application of a heavier penalties; and Section 7 on liability under other laws.

In asking the court to void cyberlibel, BAND says the country’s criminal libel law is “a throwback to the Spanish and American colonial era when authorities criminalized all forms of dissent.”

BAND meanwhile also asks the court to uphold the Cybercrime Law’s Section 4(c)3 which seeks to regulate spam commercial messages, citing concerns that those who use and spread spam messages do so by violating the right of citizens to privacy of communication.

BAND is composed of Philippine Blog Award winners Tonyo Cruz (tonyocruz.com), Marcelo Landicho (The Professional Heckler), Benjamin Noel Espina (Atheista.net), and Marck Ronald Rimorin (The Marocharim Experiment); bloggers Julius Rocas (Four-eyed Journal), Oliver Richard Robillo (Ang Dabawenyo), Aaron Erick Lozada (Pinoy Gossip Boy), Gerald Adrian Magnaye (Noisy Noisy Man), Jose Reginald Ramos (dronthego.net) and Maureen Hermitanio (Philippine Online Chronicles); social media strategist Rosario Juan; digital marketing professionals Brendalyn Ramirez and Kristine Joy Rementilla; developer Maricel O. Gray; digital creative director Julius Ivan Cabigon; and representatives of Cebu Bloggers Society president Ruben Licera Jr.; and Philippine Expat/OFW Blog Awards coordinator Pedro Rahon.

Standing as BAND counsel is Kristoffer James Purisima, also a netizen.

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