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A Collective Manifesto: The Stand of Hunger Games Philippines on RA10175 or Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

One of the social issues presented in The Hunger Games trilogy is non existence of freedom of expression in its fictional nation-Panem- due to the strict censorship by its fictional government: The Capitol. It is our deepest fear that this supposedly fictional issue has become a reality for us Filipinos. On September 12, the Philippines saw Benigno Aquino III signing into law RA10175 more popularly known as Cybercrime Law of 2012. The law in itself has outstanding provisions that will overwhelmingly aid Filipino netizens in these modern times: the fight against online pornography, hacking, spamming, and identity theft. But one provision has put the bill into bad light and has been the discussion of outraged and concerned citizens since then: cyber libel. The provision, which was inserted by Senator Vicente Sotto III and signed into law by Benigno Aquino III, is not only unconstitutional as it curtails freedom of expression but also transgresses and defies Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) with the current criminal libel clause. By criminalizing cyber libel, it is a clear indication that the government is infringing the right of the Filipinos to express their thoughts wholly and fully in an avenue that was created to serve the purpose it is now blocking: the internet. Hunger Games Philippines is not for the total repeal of the law as it has good merits on its own, but we call for the IMMEDIATE AMENDMENT OF THE CYBER LIBEL PROVISION. We are courageously standing up the senators who voted for the passage of this bill and the Philippine president who signed this into law and tell them that we will not tolerate and accept such inhumane provision, and failure to amend or repeal the said provision will result in disapproval and loss of confidence with the current administration.

We are calling the attention of the Supreme Court, and ask the magistrates to render the cyber libel provision unconstitutional. Most of all, we call the attention of all the FILIPINO NETIZENS. Do not just sit there, have your voices be heard outside the four corners of your update box. This is OUR right they are taking away. Do not be afraid. Like the districts of Panem who rebelled against the Capitol for its oppressive government, the Filipino people will also stand up to this hideous cyber libel provision. We will not hold and bite our tongues; we will let the government know we are against it.

A Collective Manifesto: The Stand of HGP on RA10175