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Give the anti-cyber crime law a chance—prelate
MANILA, September 24, 2012—Even if the newly constituted Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act 10175 is earning the ire of media practitioners, online journalists, and netizens, a Catholic leader has urged the public to “give it a chance.”
Legazpi Bishop Joel Baylon said the human right to information and expression—which the Cyber Crime Prevention Act is supposed to be defying—is not “absolute.”
“Let’s give it a chance. After all, freedom has its consequent duty and responsibility,” Baylon said
The chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Youth (ECY) admitted that it is “hard” to draw the line between curtailing the right to information and free speech, and not tolerating those who abuse the media and internet to destroy the credibility and image of a person.
“Both pros and cons have point. But above all else, we should also recognize that it is also a human right to be protected from people who use the internet to advance their malicious intention,” he said.
Baylon said that not only celebrities, politicians and prominent personalities will be protected from their detractors but also normal citizens who will be subjects of demolition jobs through cyber bullying and online libel, among others, because of the new law.
But Baylon urged the government to make certain that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act 10175 will clear the grey areas, which journalists, bloggers, social media users and netizens particularly oppose. The new anti-cybercrime law will be implemented starting October, while its IRR will be released 90 days from September 12, when the President signed it into law.
“The challenge now is to implement the spirit of the law and not the letter so that ultimately, the Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012 will not be an avenue to violate civil liberties,” he said.
“The IRR should clearly set the limits of the human right and freedom: where freedom ends and where responsibility starts. The IRR should make sure that the new law will be just and humane,” Baylon added.
An advocate of using social media as an evangelizing tool, the prelate reminded netizens to “think before you click,” especially after the Philippines was regarded as the social media capital of the world and how social networking stirs the social climate. (YouthPinoy)