SPECIAL REPORT: Anti-Cybercrime Law petitioners present oral arguments in the Supreme Court

Anti-Cybercrime Law opponents listed numerous rights violated by the Cybercrime Act of 2012, including freedom of expression, rule of double jeopardy and right to privacy, among others, during the oral arguments held at the Supreme Court last January 15.

Sa pagpapatuloy ng special report ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) sa ginanap na oral arguments para sa Republic Act Number 10175—o mas kilala bilang Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012—"double jeopardy" at "invasion of privacy" naman ang tinalakay at ipinaliwanag ng mga petitioners laban sa batas na ito.

IMPERMISSIBLE PRIOR RESTRAINT. Tinuligsa ng University of the Philippines Law professor na si Atty. Rodel A. Cruz ang Section 19 ng Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Nakasaad dito ang pagbibigay-kapangyarihan sa DOJ upang higpitan at harangan ang pag-access sa computer data na pinaniniwalang prima facie evidence para sa mga lumabag ng Cybercrime Law.

Ang nilalaman ng probisyong ito:

“SEC. 19. Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data. — When a computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer data.”

Sa madaling salita, binibigyan ng batas na ito ang DOJ ng kapangyarihan upang kunin o magbigay ng restriction ng isang computer system o computer data na pinaniniwalaan ginamit upang lumabag sa ating batas—kahit na walang warrant mula sa korte.

Ayon kay Atty. Cruz, nilalabag ng probisyong ito ang ating right to freedom of expression, “We submit that Section 19 is a content-based regulation of expression.”

Paglilinaw pa ni Atty. Cruz, “Section 19 read together with an incorporation clause under Section 6 allows the seizure by the DOJ [Department of Justice] of any and all computer data owned by anyone on a prima facie determination that it violates any of our criminal laws.


“It must be struck down for being overbroad.”

Gaya ng ibang probisyon ng batas na ito, ayon kay Atty. Cruz, dapat itong tanggalin dahil sa pagiging “over broad” o ang kakulangan sa limitasyon at restriction na maaaring abusuhin ng sino man ang nakaupo sa gobyerno lalo na sa DOJ.

“Due to its broad sweep, Section 19 fails to master the requirement that restrictions, which must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest.

“With the legislated general warrant to seize and all data, the DOJ has been turned into a roving censor in cyber space where Section 19 dispenses with prior notice and hearing; restrictions may remain for indeterminate period of time.

“This clearly constitutes a constitutionally impermissible prior restraint.

“Section 19 is a continuing threat to freeze and silence even protected speech."

Isa pa sa ipinunto ni Atty. Cruz ay nilalabag daw ng probisyong ito ang "right to reasonable search and seizure: na nasasaad sa Section 2 ng Article III ng ating konstitusyon.

Ayon sa Section 2 Article III ng ating konstitusyon:

“Section 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.”


Giit pa ni Atty. Cruz, nilalabag nito ang ating right to privacy.

“We enshrine this guarantee in our constitution to protect us from executive abuse.”

INVASION OF PRIVACY. Binatikos naman ni UP Professor Atty. Jose Jesus Disini Jr. ang Section 12 ng Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Ayon sa probisyong ito:

“SEC. 12. Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data. — Law enforcement authorities, with due cause, shall be authorized to collect or record by technical or electronic means traffic data in real-time associated with specified communications transmitted by means of a computer system.

“Traffic data refer only to the communication’s origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying service, but not content, nor identities.

“All other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a court warrant.

“Service providers are required to cooperate and assist law enforcement authorities in the collection or recording of the above-stated information.

“The court warrant required under this section shall only be issued or granted upon written application and the examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce and the showing:

(1) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed, or is being committed, or is about to be committed:

(2) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that evidence that will be obtained is essential to the conviction of any person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any such crimes; and

(3) that there are no other means readily available for obtaining such evidence.”


Kaugnay ng mga puntong ipinaliwanag ni Atty. Cruz tungkol sa unreasonable search and seizure, ang probisyong ito ay lumalabag din daw sa ating right to privacy.

Ayon kay Atty. Disini, binibigyan nito ang Philippine National Police (PNP) at National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ng kapangyarihan na kunin o mangolekta ng real-time traffic data mula sa ating mga computer nang walang warrant of search and seizure mula sa korte.

“It is as if a law enforcement officer is standing over your shoulder watching as you surf.

“The level of surveillance contemplated by Section 12 places law enforcement agencies at a vantage point never before possible in human history.”

Wala rin daw restrictions ang batas na ito para sa PNP at NBI, kung hanggang kailan at kung ano ang mga traffic data na maaari nilang kolektahin.

Ani Atty. Disini, “Nothing in Section 12 places restrictions on the law enforcement agency with respect to how long they will engage to real time collection or the scope of the collection or the amount of data or even the obligation to use the data in accordance for the purpose it was collected.”

AIDING AND ABETTING. Binatikos naman ni Atty. Julius G. Matibag ang constitutionality ng Sec. 5 (A) and (B) ng Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Ang nilalaman ng probisyong ito:

“SEC. 5. Other Offenses. — The following acts shall also constitute an offense:

“(a) Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime. – Any person who willfully abets or aids in the commission of any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.


“(b) Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrime. — Any person who willfully attempts to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable.”

Sa madaling salita, ang simpleng pag-like, pag-reply, at pag-share ng mga post o status sa Facebook na lumalabag sa batas na ito—kahit hindi ikaw mismo ang nag-post—ay maaaring maparusahan.

Gayun din ang simpleng pag-like, pag-reply, at pag-retweet ng mga status sa Twitter.

Nagbigay ng isang halimbawa si Atty. Matibag kung saan nag-tweet ang isang writer na pinangalanan nitong "John" na nagnanais magsulat ng isang fictional story para sa Palanca Awards tungkol sa sexual abuse at human trafficking na naranasan ng isang menor de edad na batang babae.

Ang tweet na ito ay sinagot naman ng isa pang character na pinangalanang "Bert" na nag-suggest ng pangalan para character na isinusulat ni "John."

Pahayag ni Atty. Matibag, “In this scenario, ‘John’ committed a willful attempt to create a form of child pornography through a computer system, a laptop, a content-related offense under Scetion 4 (C) (2) of the Cybercrime Law.

“In relation to Chapter 4 (B) of the Anti-Child Pornography Act stating that it shall be unlawful for any person to produce direct, manufacture or create any form of child pornography.

“Which is define therein as, [and I quote] ‘any representation whether visual, audio or written combination thereof by electronic, mechanical, digital, optical, magnetic or any other means of a child or involved… engaged or involved in real simulated explicit sexual activities’ and [quote] ‘regardless of the nature and quality of the content.’”


Dagdag pa ni Atty. Matibag, “This situation were John and Bert merely exercise their freedom of expression, a right that includes freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas regardless of frontiers, either orally or in writing or in print, in the form of art or through any other media of choice, according to Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, constitute as punishable acts with in the scope of the assailed Section 5 (A) and (B)."

Sa puntong ito, ipinaliwanag ni Atty. Matibag kung bakit dapat matanggal ang probisyong ito sa Cybrecrime Prevention Act of 2012.

“This section does not distinguish between protected speech and socially harmful conduct or unprotected speech.

“This will firmly emphasize, Section 5 is unconstitutional because it suffers from overbreadth and thereby invades the protected freedom of expression at it violates equal protection clause and substantive due process.”

Gaya ng punto ni Senator Teofisto Guingona III sa kanyang opening speech, ang probisyong ito, ay maaari ring abusuhin dahil sa kakulangan ng nararapat na limitasyon.

Ani Atty. Matibag, “Section 5 is overbroad and open-ended provision.

“It lacks any positive limits, restrictions, descriptions and specific standards that would separate protected speech from the socially harmful conduct or unlawful speech that it seeks to prosecute and punish.

“Due to it’s over breadth, instead of narrowly limiting and restricting sub-terms only for purposes of protection and safeguard from forms of misuse, abuse and illegal access as expressed in the declaration of policy of the Cybercrime Law, the assailed provision clearly sweep unnecessarily, broadly and runs amok upon freedom of expression."


Sa January 22, bibigyan naman ang mga nagsulat ng Cybercrime Law ng tiyansa upang depensahan ang ginawa nilang batas.

Humingi rin si Atty. Harry Roque ng extension para sa temporary restraining order laban sa Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.





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