Libel provision will be used vs protesting public

With SC decision on cybercrime constitutionality 

Karapatan today said that like extrajudicial killing, enforced disappearance, illegal arrest and detention and, other human rights violations, “The libel provision in the cybercrime law will most likely be used against those who criticize BS Aquino’s anti-people policies and programs and those who expose corruption and rights violations.” 

“If such would be the case, BS Aquino’s lies and spins used to cover up the country’s real situation should also be subject of libel for they are far more disastrous to the Filipino people,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.  

Lies and spins, such as the hype on country’s economic growth and development, according to Palabay “prevent us from looking deeper into the roots of poverty, coming out with the right solutions and plan of action. Such lies serve as blinders and prevent the people from pursuing the real path to development.” 

“Lies and spins on the benefits of the privatization of our health services to provide would only kill the poor people who will be deprived of the health care they deserve; Lies and spins such as claiming that the Public-Private Partnership program would uplift the lives of the poor are likewise libelous,” added Palabay. 

Karapatan was among the organizations who filed a petition for a Temporary Restraining Order at the Supreme Court, saying that the law “poses serious threats to the right to privacy, freedom of speech and expression, among other civil and political rights.” 

The rights group also criticized the law for its “implications on the work of human rights defenders, as this further impedes on our right to articulate the facts on the human rights situation that we gather on the ground and our analyses on the situation.”

On October 8, 2012, Karapatan submitted a complaint before the United Nations, through Frank La Rue, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression; and Margaret Sekaggya, Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders.

The complaint said the Cybercrime Law constitutes several violations of international human rights conventions and declarations, including the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the UN Declaration on the Protection of Human Rights Defenders of which the Philippines, as a signatory, has the obligation to implement.