HomeNewsNo crime of internet libel under Revised Penal Code
No crime of internet libel under Revised Penal Code
July 21, 2011
Former Department of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez ruling dated 20 June 2009 said that there is no crime of internet libel under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
According to the Resolution, Article 355 of the RPC specifically provides for the manner when libel can be committed which is by writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition or any similar means. When the RPC was enacted in 1932, the legislature did not intend to include internet communication as a means of committing libel because there was no computer or internet at that time. Thus, as ruled by the Supreme Court, the language of a penal statute cannot be enlarged beyond the ordinary meaning of its terms in order to carry into effect the general purpose for which it was enacted. Considering that posting of messages in the internet is not similarly situated with the items enumerated in Article 355 of the RPC, it cannot be considered as a criminal offense under the principle of ejusdem generis. Hence, the respondents in the case were not held liable for libel for there is no law that defines and punishes libel in the internet unlike newspapers, television and radio communications.
See attached scanned copy of the Resolution dated 20 June 2009 issued by former Department of Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez
Noemi Lardizabal-Dado is a Content Strategist with over 16 years experience in blogging, content management, citizen advocacy and media literacy and over 26 years in web development. Otherwise known as @MomBlogger on social media, she believes in making a difference in the lives of her children by advocating social change for social good.
She is a co-founder and a member of the editorial board of Blog Watch . She is a resource speaker on media literacy, social media , blogging, digital citizenship, good governance, transparency, parenting, women’s rights and wellness, and cyber safety.
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She was a Senior Consultant for ALL media engagements for the PCOO-led Committee on Media Affairs & Strategic Communications (CMASC) under the ASEAN 2017 National Organizing Council from January 4 -July 5, 2017. Having been an ASEAN advocate since 2011, she has written extensively about the benefits of the ASEAN community and as a region of opportunities on Blog Watch and aboutmyrecovery.com.
Organization affiliation includes Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation
Updated June 6, 2022