During the last quarter of 2012, the Filipino Bloggers in Kuwait (FBK) of which I am the founder went “black” for some time as we joined other netizens in the Philippines and across the globe to protest the implementation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Back then, Kuwait has already been second home to tens of thousands Filipino migrant workers and many of them posted a plain black photo as their profile picture in social media. The FBK found some controversial provisions of the law and aired their appeal to prevent the Philippine government from implementing these provisions.
As Founder – President of FBK during that time, I was aware that the law had cyber criminals as main target and the law is like protection to any cybercrime occurrence but there were still certain provisions that need to be amended, especially under Section 4 (c) (4) which criminalizes libel not only on the Internet but also on “any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”
I found section 7 of the law quite unfair and it would greatly affect OFWs like myself because we cannot air our views and sentiments about many experiences we had as migrant workers. I felt we were being prevented from sharing to fellow Filipinos back home.
On February 05, 2013 the Supreme Court extended the temporary restraining order on the law. On May 24th of the same year, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that online libel provisions of the law have been dropped, as well as other provisions that “are punishable under other laws already”.
On February 18, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled the online libel provision of the act to be constitutional, although it trashed other provisions, including the ones that violated the provisions on double jeopardy.
With all of these in mind, bloggers like myself can express their thoughts and sentiments carefully and with enough reliable sources for basis.