Cybercrime law: See you in court, PNoy

Opinion & Analysis Philippines Sep 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Despite the view of the United Nations Committee on Human Rights that Philippine criminal libel is contrary to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) on freedom of expression, Congress and President Aquino still enacted the Cybercrime Prevention Law which, among other things, added electronic libel as a new criminal offense.

Worse, this new law increased the penalty for cyber libel to prision mayor from the current prision correctional provided under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).

This means that electronic libel is now punished with imprisonment from 6 years and one day to up to 12 years, while those convicted for ordinary libel under the RPC are subject to imprisonment only from 6 months and one day to four years and two months. And because parole, a means by which a convict may be spared from actual imprisonment may be granted only to those sentenced to serve a prison term for no more than 6 months and one day, anyone convicted for cyber libel will inevitably serve a prison term.

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