Posts Tagged ‘Cybercrime Law’

CEGP’s 82nd Anniversary Statement: 82 Years of Choosing for the Students and the People


 

Adam David, writer and champion of indie publishing in the Philippines, in an on/offline conversation* with Miguel Syjuco, author of the prize-winning Ilustrado, said something about the conceitedness of writers; that writers, “should make claims;” that they “should assume the right of making others think” (2010).

As we celebrate the 82nd anniversary of the College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines, the oldest and widest alliance of school publications in the Asia-Pacific, we shall continue doing an engaged kind of writing that is born out of our concrete experiences in our immediate communities and shall be useful in molding these communities for the better.

CEGP’s 82 years of history is a testament not only of its relevance but also of its potency. From the Guild’s positioned documentation of the Japanese occupation during the World War II, the massive uprisings popularly tagged as the First Quarter Storm antedating the Martial Law that tried desperately to quell these displays of dissent, the ruinous passing of the Campus Journalism Act of 1991, every instance of Tuition and Other Fees Increase in schools and every instance of the violation of the freedom of the Campus Press, the Guild has shown that writing is an act of making choices, that writing is an act of taking sides.

At the present, we continue being conceited and through our pen, provoke others; if not make them act on certain issues. From the issues of Cybercrime Law, the achievements of our schools, Tuition and Other Fees increases, E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey among others, we continued writing and in the process of choosing our topics, angling and delivering them, we took sides and advance certain positions ideally for the interests of the students who are our primary publishers.

This we have done despite the generally uninviting and challenging setting where we operate. During the Guild’s National Convention at Cebu last April, there were 230 documented cases of Campus Press Freedom Violations, with administrative intervention and withholding of funds as the principal cases.

In Baguio-Benguet, the case of Loquitur’s adviser being terminated in her position is the most recent effect of a repressive system that spoils the students’ interests. Without properly consulting the staff members of the Loquitur, the official student publication of the King’s College of the Philippines, the Administration of the school informed the adviser that her “position as adviser will expire on May 30, 2013.” Installing a new adviser without the recommendations of the Loquitur staff, the Administration is also now requiring the student publication to submit to them the final draft of their newspapers before these can be printed.

The libel case of the former Editor-in-Chief of UPB Outcrop continues up to now and gives distress to the former EIC who is also still a student. Most of the school publications in Baguio-Benguet also need to undergo the process of accreditation every year whereas as student institutions, this should not be required of them. Aside from that, all student publications except the ones in Benguet State University do not take hold of their own funds and instead have to abide by the rigid and extremely bureaucratic process of paperworks needed to make use of their funds when needed.

The repressive system, explicit or otherwise, where the campus press resides is a result of the conflicting interests found in this setting. As the mouthpiece of the students and protectors of their interests, the campus press needs to be silenced by powers-that-be in the academic institution most of the time. These violations of campus press freedom are only the most convenient ways by which those in power hinder the potentials of the campus press to record facts, document events and shape the opinion of the students. It is also not rare that the campus press has goaded its readers to act and oppose the existing order of things. This is the worst scenario the powers-that-be try to stave off by limiting the campus press.

But we are far from being deterred. The choice is wide open for us and we know the conditions that should guide this choice. We are members of the campus press, mainly funded by the studentry to which we also belong. We should be working for the interest, welfare of and discursive engagement with the students. Returning to David and Syjuco, we should make them think, we should make them listen to us in the same way that what we should write is relevant and useful to them. No amount of repression could be tantamount to stopping the campus press from fulfilling its duties – that is, choosing for the students, its main publisher, choosing for the students’ interests and concerns.

A long standing 82 years of history only shows how formidable the campus press has become. Together, we can look forward to more years of continued struggle for genuine campus press freedom and the welfare of the students and the Filipino people.

*this ‘conversation’ appeared in the 15th issue of Kritika Kultura, Ateneo de Manila Univesity’s refereed journal (254-276)

 

 

UPHOLD CAMPUS PRESS FREEDOM!

SCRAP JOURNALISM ACT OF 1991!

JUNK CYBERCRIME LAW!

PASS THE CAMPUS PRESS FREEDOM BILL!

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As Cybercrime TRO expires, efforts to junk RA 10175 need to be urgent


Press Release

February 05, 2013

On the last day before the end of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) imposed by the Supreme Court on the immensely questioned Cybercrime Law, the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet continues its ardent call to oppose the law that could largely limit the flow of discourses and the exchange of information in the internet.

We continue to call attention to the libel provision which increases the penalty of the already controversial criminal libel stipulated in the Revised Penal Code. Mere liking or sharing a “libelous” post can now be deemed as a crime under the Cybercrime Law. We see this as posing a significant impediment in the impressive tapping of the internet as a medium for social involvement and dissent.

The consistent increase in internet usage all over the world has been more often touted as the increasing popularity of a supposed democratization of disseminating information and shaping public opinion. While there are legitimate contestations regarding this view, such as the varying extent by which the reactionary businessmen and the oppositional groups appropriate user-generation of content in the internet to advance their respective agenda, it cannot be doubted that the internet has been an effective tool in countering the status quo. This has been manifested in some European countries in the past decade and in there is no considerable lag in the Philippines. We have seen in the recent years how the internet, particularly the social networking sites have once been flooded by oppositional, if not subversive content, relating to current issues and the general condition of the society.

We see the Cybercrime Law mainly as a way to curb these potentials of the internet to be used against the existing order. In a move hauntingly reminiscent of a remodeled Foucauldian surveillance, the Cybercrime Law is threatening to always keep us on guard in our internet use.

We therefore need to recognize that we are being watched. And so before they can even begin to label us and our actions with names that demonize our intentions (libelous, terrorist, subversive), we must oppose this repressive law disguising, as most laws do, to protect the rights of the people

 

For Reference:

Ivan Emil Labayne, 09268105915

Chair

Days before start of oral arguments: CEGP-BB urges register of opposition against Cybercrime Law


Press Statement

January 08, 2013

 

A few days before the oral arguments on the controversial Cybercrime Law begin on January 15, CEGP Baguio-Benguet urges the continuing campaign against the law that can make libel “Instagram an insta-crime” in the Philippines.

The controversial law created a buzz last year when it took effect on October 03 and with its inclusion of online libel among the punishable acts, it threatened to make a crime out of mere sharing or liking or deemed “libelous” statements or images in the internet, particularly in social networking sites. The law was then greeted with an avalanche of protests and legal petitions clamoring for the suspension of the law. As a result of the vigorous protests launched by different organizations from various sectors including CEGP, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous vote, issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the much-opposed law.

The Guild sees this as the triumph of the collective action of the different groups of people who registered their protests on the Cybercrime Law. While the Guild commends this decision and more importantly the people who have not failed to show its oppositional stance regarding the issue, CEGP Baguio-Benguet is prompt in reminding that the people must not be complacent after this initial triumph. The battle against the repression of “online freedom of expression” is only beginning and we call on the everyone to continuously act together towards amending the questionable inclusions in the law, specifically the Libel provision, if not the outright junking of the law. With the TRO expiring in February 06 and the oral arguments beginning on January 15, it is opportune to reorganize and once again register our arguments against the law. Scattered oppositions led by various groups can be harmonized into one in order to achieve a more striking formation that will echo the interest of the people and can bring a stronger message to the Aquino regime and its cohorts who are behind this repressive law. As earlier evinced by the SC issuance of TRO, the collective action of the people truly brings forth positive outcomes. This should be the lesson to be put in mind as we continue the battle for freedom of expression not only in the internet among our other constitutional rights.

 

Repeal Cybercrime Law!

Fight for Freedom of Expression!

 

College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet

For Reference:

Ivan Emil Labayne, Chair

09268105915

 

City Mayor’s support of Cybercrime Law shows wish to quell critical discourses online, mistakes valid criticisms with “malicious attacks”


Press Statement

October 10, 2012

 

In an interview published at today’s issue of SunStar Baguio, City Mayor Mauricio Domogan expressed support on the controversial Cybercrime Law as he claimed to have been a victim of cyber-bullying. The incumbent mayor raised concerns that the law can redress “acts of ridicule and malicious attacks” which could become rampant especially now that the election is months away.

This rhetoric by the incumbent mayor still planning to run for reelection next year seems to resound that of Senator Tito Sotto who also claimed to be a victim of Cyber-bullying after anomalies of plagiarism plagued him last month. It is as if these public officials are so divested of power that they are easily maimed by remarks made against them in the internet. They are in fact reversing the situation by making themselves look like the victim of discourses which they control and where they actually dominate. As the internet becomes a viable and widely-used tool to participate in the discourses in the community, a participation that is already stifled in other avenues through bureaucratic measures such as the No-Permit No-Rally policy and the constant breaching of the people’s right to peaceful assembly, opinions of the people with regard to their community and their public officials are conveniently aired online. The Cybercrime Law masks the potential of quelling even this propagation of critical discourses in the internet. Also, we can see this as public officials’ tactic in protecting their “reputation” which is often rightfully subjected to criticisms what with their anti-people policies and attitude towards governance. With the objective of protecting their presently beneficial positions, these public officials mistake valid criticisms with so-called “malicious attacks.”

As early as now, Domogan seems to be prematurely defensive in assuming the role of the helpless sheep in the face of ferocious attackers which can be expected as the mid-year elections approach and as he continues to fall short in addressing key issues in the city such as the waste problem, the privatization of Baguio General Hospital and Baguio Convention Center among others and the cutting of trees in SM Baguio.  Supporting the Cybercrime Law is only logical for a public official continually threatened by a growing unpopularity and criticism that is increasingly launched online. With his aspirations for reelections next year, we can see that this stance towards the controversial law is nothing but driven by his self-interests and not his true concern to the needs and interests of the people.

 

For Reference:

Ivan Emil Labayne, Chair

09268105915

As Supreme Court issues TRO: CEGP calls for continuous action towards “online freedom of expression”


Press Statement

October 10, 2012

The College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet welcomes the unanimous decision of the Supreme Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order on the much-opposed Cybercrime Law which took effect last October 03.

The Guild sees this as the triumph of the collective action of the different groups of people who registered their protests on the Cybercrime Law. The law instantly became notorious primarily because of the inclusion of Libel under the Punishable Acts section of the law. The Guild commends the Supreme Court for heeding the call of the people which on its part, has not failed to show its oppositional stance in regard to the issue. However, the Guild is prompt in its reminder that the people must not be complacent after this initial triumph. The battle against the repression of “online freedom of expression” is only beginning and we call on the people to continuously act together towards amending the questionable inclusions in the law, specifically the Libel provision, if not the outright junking of the law. As the effectiveness of the TRO is only for 120 days, the time is now to organize a plan of action that will be geared towards amending or junking the Cybercrime Law. Scattered oppositions led by various groups can be harmonized into one in order to achieve a more striking formation that will echo the interest of the people and can bring a stronger message to the Aquino regime and its cohorts. As evinced by the SC issuance of TRO, the collective action of the people truly brings forth positive outcomes. This should be the lesson to be put in mind as we continue the battle for freedom of expression not only in the internet among our other constitutional rights.

For Reference:

Ivan Emil Labayne, Chair

09268105915

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