BlogWatch is a member of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation, represented by its two co-founders, Noemi Lardizabal-Dado and Jane Uymatiao. The consortium, a network… Read More »Statement of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation on the harassment of Maria Ressa
“Criminal libel is incompatible with freedom of expression, “ Atty. Harry Roque says.
In recent months, media organizations have become more organized in calling for Congress to decriminalize libel. In Part 1, we tried to make sense of what libel is all about and saw instances when press freedom was curtailed by its criminal implications in the Philippines.
But…as citizens, why should we care about criminal libel?
If you are in media, a blogger, active in social media, or merely a citizen, be careful what you say or write. If another person feels it has damaged his or her reputation, you could be facing a libel charge. And if the charge sticks, you are likely to face jail time because in the Philippines, it is criminal libel.
In most other countries, libel is a civil case for which penalties are usually financial in nature. But in the Philippines, because it is deemed criminal in nature, media most specially view this as a stifling of press freedom.