Democracy.Net.PH is grateful that Cebu journalists and bloggers are discussing the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (MCPIF). We hope that more such public discussions will be held, and we welcome the opportunity to discuss the MCPIF with everyone.
To allay the concerns of John Rey Saavedra (The Freeman) and Frank Malilong Jr. (Sun.Star Cebu), we would like to point them to Section 40 of the SBN 3327 as filed, which bars double jeopardy under the MCPIF and the RPC, or for that matter, the MCPIF and special laws.
During the Cebu Citizens-Press Council’s (CCPC) 29th quarterly meeting yesterday, Cebu Media Legal Aid (Cemla) president Elias Espinoza said Senate Bill (SB) 3327, or “The Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom,” is favorable to journalists because unlike the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines (RPC), it does not provide for imprisonment for Internet libel.
Under Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago’s bill filed last Nov. 12, only civil liability will arise.
Under SB 3327, malice is also not presumed, said Espinoza, unlike in the RPC, where malice is presumed with every defamatory imputation “if no good intention and justifiable motive” is shown.
But during discussions at the MBF Cebu Press Center, The Freeman editor John Rey Saavedra raised the prospect of a reporter being prosecuted under both the RPC and the Magna Carta if his article printed in the newspaper also appeared on the Internet.
Sun.Star Cebu columnist and Cemla vice chairman Frank Malilong Jr. warned that in such cases, reporters might be charged with two separate crimes.
Asked what bloggers had to say about this, Ruben Licera Jr., president of the Cebu Bloggers Society Inc., said Cebu bloggers were “100 percent against the implementation of the anti-cybercrime law.”
Image: Work found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cebu_Citizens_Press_Council_Logo.jpg / http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/