Philippines Cyber Law a threat to press freedom

The International Federation of Journalists

(IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

(NUJP) in expressing serious concern that the newly enacted Cybercrime

Prevention Act 2012 poses a significant threat to press freedom and limits freedom

of expression in the Philippines.

 

The

new laws enacted under the Act which was passed last week, have been criticised

by the NUJP and international media groups for the inclusion of libel among the

crimes that may be committed online.

 

The

NUJP believe that the Act is a threat not only to the media but to any member of

the public with access to the Internet, as it broadens the scope of the libel law to include

online expression.

 

The United Nations Human Rights Council declared the Philippines’ libel

law to be excessive and incompatible with international human rights law, in October 2011.

 

The NUJP

said the enactment of the new law “was, to say the least, sneaky and betrays this

[the Aquino] administration’s commitment to transparency and freedom of

expression” and that it clearly shows the world that the Aquino Government is “no

friend of press freedom.”

 

The government

enacted the Cybercrime Prevention Act while ratification of the Freedom of Information

Act continues to be delayed more than 20 years after an FOI bill was first

filed.

 

 “The IFJ is greatly concerned that the

inclusion of online content in the Act could be used to curtail freedom of

expression online,” said the IFJ Asia Pacific. “We are further concerned that

the government of the Philippines continues to delay the passing of the FOI

bill, which clearly stands against their stated commitment to press freedom.”

 

 

For

further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919

 

The IFJ

represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries

 

Find

the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

 

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the IFJ on Facebook: www.facebook.com/IFJAsiaPacific