T he Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA) – a broad alliance of organizations and netizens – has filed before the Supreme Court on Monday (October 8, 2012), just a few minutes before the end of office hours, the fifteenth petition against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Republic Act 10175. Before Monday, there was already a total of 12 petitions versus the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10175 (see list) . Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares is the 13th petitioner while the National Press Club (NPC) is the 14th petitioner.
Petitioners asked the high court to issue a “Status Quo Ante Order and/or writ of preliminary injunction” to make government “observe the status quo prevailing before the enactment and effectivity of the Cybercrime Prevention Act.”
PIFA claims that its members have “legal standing to sue” because of the “chilling effect” that impacted on their online activities beginning October 3 – when RA 10175 took effect – subjecting netizens to “unwarranted electronic surveillance” by the Philippine government 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
PIFA warns that “the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act will clog the dockets of our courts arising from a deluge of frivolous lawsuits,” zeroing on Section 6 which raises the penalty for “all crimes” in other penal statutes as long as committed with the use of information and communication technologies.
PIFA said RA 10175 is “contrary to the guarantees of equal protection under the law” and “acts an ex post facto law” while also violating public international law. The petition also pointed out that the United Nations Human Rights Council has recently recognized just last July that the “freedom of expression on the Internet” is a “basic human right.”
The petition explains that even if Congress does amend the law, such corrective legislation would still “not render the issues moot, because [the violations] are capable of repetition, yet evading review.”
The petition also points out that the Cybercrime Prevention Act contradicts the Constitutional mandate for a “balanced flow of information under a policy respecting freedom of speech and of the press.”
Petitioners are : PHILIPPINE INTERNET FREEDOM ALLIANCE, com-posed of DAKILA-PHILIPPINE COLLECTIVE FOR MODERN HEROISM, represented by Leni Velasco, PARTIDO LAKAS NG MASA, represented by Cesar S. Melencio, FRANCIS EUSTON R. ACERO, MARLON ANTHONY ROMASANTA TONSON, TEO-DORO A. CASIÑO, NOEMI LARDIZABAL-DADO, IMELDA MORALES, JAMES MATTHEW B. MIRAFLOR, JUAN G.M. RAGRAGIO, MARIA FATIMA A. VILLENA, MEDARDO M. MANRIQUE, JR., LAUREN DADO, MARCO VITTORIA TOBIAS SUMAYAO, IRENE CHIA, ERASTUS NOEL T. DELIZO, CRISTINA SARAH E. OSORIO, ROMEO FACTOLERIN, NAOMI L. TUPAS, KENNETH KENG, ANA ALEXANDRA C. CASTRO,
Here is a copy of the Petition filed by Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance