Rights lawyers re Supreme Court ruling declaring constitutional online libel provisions of RA 10175 or Anti-Cybercrime Law:
The chilling effect of a Damocles’ sword for those who are wired basically remains. Any blanket threat of criminal prosecution for online libel tilts the balance for untrammeled state intervention and will practically result in effective censorship, if not timidity or inordinate trepidation.
Freedom of speech and expression is such a valuable democratic right to be curtailed and penalized. It is precisely this freedom that eventually screens, isolates, exposes, and debunks abuses of such freedom and protects or ensures other liberties.
The valid exercise of a right should not be punished. It is far more lofty to be able to freely twit the excesses of Big Brother – that wants only the official government line or its version of “truth” to prevail or dominate such potent medium as cyberspace – than to be unthinking robots or docile androids.
Edre U. Olalia
NUPL Secretary General
National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers (NUPL)
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Quezon City, Philippines
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