SC won't lift TRO on cybercrime law

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Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MANILA (2nd Update) -- The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 will not take effect yet after the Supreme Court extended until further notice the 120-day temporary restraining order that was expected to expire on Wednesday.

"TRO in cybercrime case extended until further orders from the Court," said a text message from SC acting spokesperson Gleoresty Guerra after Tuesday's en banc session.

Human rights lawyers welcomed the decision as they asked the public to be vigilant and critical about the dangers of the law and the manner it was approved by Congress.

"We as human rights lawyers maintain that there is a need to remain firm, steadfast, and even-tempered in our victory today in order to guard against any further breaches and violations of the people's right to freedom of speech and expression," said the National Union of People's Lawyers (NUPL).

The group Democracy.Net.PH, meantime, applauded the SC "for its responsiveness to public sentiment over the obvious overreach of the Cybercrime Law."

Democracy.Net.PH is a group that supports the Magna Carta for Philippine Internet Freedom (MCPIF) bill, which was filed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago as a replacement to the controversial Republic Act (RA) 10175.

"While we hope that the SC will settle the unconstitutionality of the RA 10175, the ultimate resolution lies with Congress," the group said.

The High Court earlier heard the oral arguments of 15 petitioners who are questioning the constitutionality of the cybercrime law, as well as the Office of the Solicitor General, who represented the executive and legislative branches in defense of RA 10175.

Also on Tuesday, the Court did not issue a stay order on the controversial reproductive health law.(Virgil Lopez/JCV/Sunnex)

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