It’s been a year ago when I was invited to talk in front of hundreds of bloggers, social media users and some PR agencies in Indonesia for the 2011 ASEAN Exchange together with fellow online advocates from Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Laos. Sadly, the blogger from Myammar failed to join us due to the current situation in their country including the issue of internet rights. With that pride as Filipino who enjoys internet freedom and how we use it to show our stand on social change and how it became an important tool during calamity. But that was a year ago, until the Cybercrime Prevention Law was passed and signed by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III whom we know utilizes the power of social media during his campaign and getting feedback from his “BOSSES” whether it is negative or positive.
Looking back with all the things I mentioned on how internet became the vital role for every Filipino as part of their daily lives, now I am very frustrated and disappointed that this kind of law was passed and voted by the senators whom we all know uses internet freedom too in their own ways. There are parts of the Cybercrime Prevention Law may protect us from identity theft, child pornography and others, but using it as a tool to censor our opinions because of the libel clause added by one of the senators is very uncalled for.
Cybercrime Prevention Law with the libel clause can be used by politicians and other personalities against people who gives their opinion especially that we are entering the 2013 election. Aside from that how can our netizens be watchdog in their respective area and be citizen journalists who report anomaly and other issues concerning their communities and local government if they will be used against them as libel cases.
Cybercrime Prevention Law will kill the freedom of speech, call for social change and citizen journalism via the internet. I am one of those who stand up and against this malicious law that politicians will be using for their self gain to hide their anomalies and scandals rather than serving their respective communities with honesty.