Press Release
October 9, 2012


On TRO filed by SC

You know the purpose of a TRO is to enable the court to study the merits. Since the law will become effective unless they do that, they have to issue a stop order. I'm not disappointed. I welcome the pause that this TRO creates because it will give time to the SC to study the merits and give also the critics time to reexamine their position because I think that they're just contemplating on a few provisions of the law that they think are harmful to them. But overall, I think the purpose of the law is given to expand their right to use online communication. And you must read the law, Cybercrime Prevention Act together with the Data Privacy Act because the Data Privacy Act is the one that positively protects the confidentiality and security of one's personal communication.

What the Cybercrime Prevention Act does is only to regulate socially destructive acts because you cannot enjoy your right fully and confidently if others have an equal right to interfere with your right. That's the balancing act that you've got to do because this is a new frontier. This is an area that is unregulated but if you read both the Data Privacy and the Cybercrime, you will come to the conclusion that ,in fact, iy expands the right of the user and protects the communication that he or she transmits.

Q: Best decision ba yun na i-TRO muna?

No, don't forget that TRO is a temporary interim measure. It's not a decision on the merit. It only allows the court time to study the merit because unless they TRO it, unless they stop it, then the law will become enforceable and the decision on the merit may become academic. Whatever it goes.

Q: How long siguro yung tamang...?

Maigsi lang yan. Because the next step there is to call the parties to oral arguments and then you tackle na the merits. So there's nothing to worry about this. This is part and parcel of the judicial process, just to preserve the status quo.

Q: Nagkaroon ng pressure sa SC?

Hindi naman. Hindi naman palagay ko. Those are sober,objective people and they consider all aspects of the law. And they will consider the overall objective of preserving the integrity and confidentiality of internet communication.

Q: May admission of some senators on some oversight, mistakes on the law. Is Senate willing to insist on it pag-require na ng court?

No, we will not insist against in the face of SC's ruling. Pag sinabi ng SC "o section 9 kaya lang siguro i-revise ninyo ito at medyo vague" we will comply with that. No one will be above the law.

Q: Executive na mag de-defend sa SC?

Yes, yes of course. Custodian namin when it comes...

Q: Wala ng papel yung legislative?

In the meantime we will hold back. We must hold any action here in Congress while the SC is deciding...

Q: Amendatory bill ni Chiz?

Hold back muna yun. Pause din. Ipo-pause muna natin. Out of respect to the SC, after all the SC is the final arbiter of any legal question.

Q: Does it somehow sadden you?

No, no. Not at all because there's nothing personal here. I thought we're doing it for the greater good. And people really can't have unanimous opinion. No one can have unanimous opinion.

Q: Kung may mga complaints sa pag abuso sa internet, hindi pwede sa ngayon pa mag file ng complaints dahil na TRO batas?

You cannot use the law to prosecute them but you may be violating other law like e-commerce halimbawa, itong hacking, that's still covered by e-commerce. Those guys can still be prosecuted if found guilty. They can be sent to jail.

So this is not an earth-shaking thing. I think ,in a way, I welcome this because it responds to the clamor of some of our constituents or at least the netizens.

Q: So this is not a temporary setback?

No. I think this is a necessary pause. Di ba in court sabi, the pause that will ...ganun din yan eh, the pause that will compel the people to think about the benefits can be disadvantage and how to improve the situation

Q: How do you expect the SC to vote?

I think ultimately the SC will uphold the law. They may find some provisions vague or maybe unnecessary, they may strike down those provisions but I don't think they will ever strike down the whole law. The entire law.

Q: What provision are you willing to give up?

Ako personally? I will give up that extra penalty and I will clarify the extent of the power of the DOJ on clamping down or blocking access.

Q: What about the libel provision?

It has to stay. As I said the solution there is to repeal the mother law, which is the Revised Penal Code which I think Chiz is trying to do.

Q: Nag file na kayo amendatory bill?

Hindi pa, hindi pa. I was supposed to file it today but because of this development, out of respect.

Q: Iiinsist niyo rin yung criminal liability ng libel kahit na na-find ng SC?

Hindi naman. I'm a lawyer, I'm a legislator I don't defy our highest court.

Q: Paano yung take down power?

Just putting it, I think extra safeguard. The safeguard I'm recommending in my proposed amendment, like sa search warrant. I will ask the DOJ to make the preliminary finding that's violative of the law but before they clamp it down, they must get a court order.

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