As outrage against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 continues to snowball and create unprecedented unity and defiance among netizens, the Aquino administration has not backed down in its resolve to implement a clearly draconian measure designed to curtail our most basic civil liberties—the right to freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press.
As alternative media practitioners, filmmakers, bloggers, and artists who maximize the new media to bring to the public information, opinion and analysis, as well as works of art that serve to illuminate social conditions and present ideas for social change, we believe that the government’s repression of the medium is the message. With the Cybercrime Act, the government wants to ensure that no avenue for expression exists that is free from control by the rich and powerful elite.
The existing law on libel has long been used by powerful public figures mostly to harass and prosecute journalists for doing their job. Instead of decriminalizing libel as urged by international human rights and media institutions, the government has even increased penalties. Worse, it now considers each and every citizen who uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) as potential criminals.