Second, the crime of “Internet libel” is punishable by a penalty one degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code. Manila, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines has been charged for a second time with cyber libel following a lawsuit filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng in February for sharing a screenshot of an article that was allegedly defamatory towards him. / celr The number is almost 274 percent higher compared to the 34 cyber-libel cases filed in 2016. A court in Manila on Monday found Maria Ressa, journalist and editor of online publication Rappler, guilty of cyber libel. Maria Ressa is the CEO of the online news portal Rappler. For cyber libel, the venue is the province or city where any of its elements have been committed, where any part of the computer system used is situated, or where any of the damage caused to a natural or juridical person took place (Section 22, Implementing Guidelines of the Cybercrime Prevention Act). A Philippines court has found the veteran journalist and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte Maria Ressa guilty of cyber libel. a). Libel is one of the cybercrime offenses punishable under Republic Act (RA) 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 . Under the rules, when an accused enters "no plea," the court automatically records "not guilty," … Critics say the president has intentions to inhibit free press. Then President Benigno S. Aquino III defended the signing into law of the controversial Republic Act No. Under the RPC, as amended by RA 4661, the crime of “libel or other similar offenses” shall prescribe in one year. A cyber libel conviction in the Philippines carries a possible imprisonment of six years or more. Under the Duterte administration, what critics said became true. Veteran journalist Inday Espina-Varona, said in 2014 after the SC upheld the constitutionality of cyber libel, “The criminal nature of libel in this country makes it the perfect tool of harassment (short of murder, which has also taken out so many Filipino journalists).”, CMFR said, “The libel provisions of the RPC [Revised Penal Code] have been problematic for free expression and press freedom since 1932, when the RPC was implemented, primarily because of the penalty of imprisonment, which has been used in many instances to silence journalists.”, Back then, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque sang a different tune. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility have long been calling for the decriminalization of libel. 10175, or otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (“RA 10175”). MANILA, Philippines — A broadcaster based in Davao was arrested Friday over a cyber libel charge stemming from a Facebook post, the National Union of Journalists reported. Under Section 21 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. It aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines. Cyber-libel, comment threads, social media Since the Supreme Court declared cyber-libel constitutional, social media and the Internet have become rife with libel scares and threats. Harry Roque, professor of constitutional law at the University of the Philippines. / celr They warned that the law will be used to stifle dissent and to harass not only government critics but also journalists and eagle-eyed netizens. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. The court disagreed with the contention of Free Legal Assistance Group regional coordinator Theodore Te, who led Rappler’s defense, that cyber libel is the same crime as ordinary libel. The government has hit Ressa and Rappler with more than a half a dozen other cases. Yes, in the Philippines, libel is still a criminal offense. In the Philippines today, the most prominent name in the country's media landscape has been convicted for cyber libel. The potential for harassment suits against government critics is so huge under this law.”, Read: Cybercrime law takes effect October 3 amid broad protests, Read: Anti-Cybercrime law, an attack against freedom of expression, other civil rights, At least 15 petitions were filed against the controversial law before the Supreme Court. MANILA – The recent conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former reporter-researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. brought to the fore cyber libel as a weapon against journalists. LIBEL Forms of Libel. 2-min read Ressa described the latest cyber libel charge as 'crazy' and 'dangerous' Veteran Philippine journalist Maria Ressa asked a court on Friday to … Rappler's lawyers argued the statute of limitations on libel had passed. Copyright © 2020 NPR. Internationally acclaimed Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr., a former staffer at Rappler, the online news service founded by … Thus, the penalty is prision mayor in its minimum period, which is from six years and one day to eight years and medium period, which is from eight years and one day to 10 years. Press freedom advocates, digital rights activists and human rights defenders first took the streets in 2012 to oppose Cybercrime Prevention Act, labeling it as cyber martial-law. Maria Ressa, who heads a Philippine news website known for its tough scrutiny of President Rodrigo Duterte, refused to enter a plea on Tuesday in a second cyber libel case she faces, saying the charges against her were ludicrous. One of the elements of libel is publication of the charge. Judge Jose Tabosares of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 23, in Kidapawan City sentenced the two broadcasters two to four or eight years jail term and ordered them to pay P2.5 million in damages. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa speaks to the media on Tuesday outside a regional trial court before the arraignment in her second cyber libel case, in Makati City, the Philippines. MANILA (UPDATE) - Rappler chief Maria Ressa on Tuesday did not enter a plea to to the conditional arraignment for the second cyber libel charge filed against her by businessman Wilfredo Keng.. It truly is like waiting for another shoe to drop as we wait in fear of the sensitive and defensive government official who’s out … Cyber libel was also used to threaten a campus journalist who posted his criticisms to the government’s COVID-19 response. Gabriel D. Embile Reply. Libel committed on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other online content was made a more serious crime compared to printed libel because of to the newly approved anti-cybercrimes law or Republic Act 10175, according to Atty. The conviction for libel online stemmed from an article dating back to 2012, with a Filipino businessman disputing a referenced intelligence report alleging he was linked to a murder and drug dealing. The top five complaints received were online scams (366), online libel (240), online threats (129), identity theft (127), and photo and video voyeurism (89). The … But the people’s stand on this issue remains the same – criminal libel and cyberlibel have no rooms in a democracy. A farmer, Nida Davao in barangay San Jose, Montalban, Rizal checking her crops after the…, What happened before: Cyber libel in the Philippines, Get Bulatlat’s latest news and updates via email. But what does cyber libel mean? In the Philippines today, the most prominent name in the country's media landscape has been convicted for cyber libel. They were released on bail pending appeal. The Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction on both libel and cyber libel. It is defamation in its very essence, but covers published work on print, television and other traditional media. MANILA, Philippines - A person found guilty of libelous comments on the Internet could spend up to 12 years in prison with no possibility of parole, a lawyer warned Wednesday. The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 147 is handling her pending motion to quash the case. NPR's Julie McCarthy reports. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Both suspects, who are from Bogo City, posted bail amounting to P36,000 each. MANILA – The recent conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former reporter-researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. brought to the fore cyber libel as a weapon against journalists. 10175, is a law in the Philippines that was approved on September 12, 2012. The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act No. Philippine laws punish libel: Art. It comes just weeks after government regulators shut down a broadcast network relied on by millions for entertainment and information about the pandemic sweeping the country. Te’s argument was hinged on the SC’s pronouncement in its Disini decision that cybercrime … Or rebellion committed via the internet? 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel. Ressa, 57, was once already found guilty of cyber libel in June … Ressa is accused of cyber libel for the second time for her tweet containing screenshots of a 2002 newspaper article about Keng's alleged involvement in criminal activities. 10175), jurisdiction shall lie if any of the elements of the libel was committed within the Philippines. Critics pointed out existing laws were sufficient to penalize “acts of terrorism” defined in the RA 10175. Libel committed on Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and other online content was made a more serious crime compared to printed libel because of to the newly approved anti-cybercrimes law or Republic Act … Will we now have offenses such as inciting to sedition with the aid of a computer? 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. “By any reasonable and unbiased reading, the sentence is not defamatory—read singly, none of the words are; read together, the sentence is not,” her petition read. Responsibilities of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) ... Is it possible to file a cyber libel case on a anonymous deleted facebook account? two radio broadcasters in Kidapawan City were convicted of online libel. Still, many provisions questioned were upheld as constitutional in a landmark decision in February 2014. MCCARTHY: Ressa, 2018 Time's Person of the Year, is free on bail pending appeal, but the conviction of the crusader against disinformation is a fresh blow to press freedoms in the Philippines. Press freedom advocates, digital rights activists and human rights defenders first took the streets in 2012 to oppose Cybercrime Prevention Act, labeling it as cyber martial-law. In 2018, it held that the time limit for an offended person to file a cyberlibel case is 15 years – but it did so in an “unsigned resolution” that may not be a … Definition of libel. On Monday night, November 4, 2019, RACU-7 also arrested Mary Grace Catapan, 31, and Jhallyn Gequillo Varga, 35, who allegedly defamed the wife of a judge in a group chat. Ressa's counsel, Theodore Te, said they had agreed to a conditional arraignment while waiting for a decision on a motion to quash the charges. It aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines. Nos. Maria Ressa, the founder of award-winning news site Rappler, was charged with her second cyber libel case at the Makati Regional Trial Court, several media reported today. On March 22, 2019, two radio broadcasters in Kidapawan City were convicted of online libel. The same is now true for new media like the internet. I don’t think that is the purpose of the law.”. In 2015 80 cyber-libel … According to a press release from the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group (PNP ACG), a total of 1,211 cybercrime complaints were filed with them from 2013-2015. The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act No. It truly is like waiting for another shoe to drop as we wait in fear of the sensitive and defensive government official who’s out to make a point. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information. To keep up with the times, the Philippine Congress has enacted Republic Act No. The difference lies in the venue of filing for the action, which in turn depends on the nature of the offended person. Ressa has filed a motion to quash the cyber libel case, saying that she is not the author of the Philippine Star article and should not be charged for tweeting screenshots of it. However, if it is cyber libel, the penalty is increased by one degree. Duterte has faced international calls to drop all charges against the veteran reporter, with rights groups saying they amount to state harassment. But the pleas have fallen on deaf ears. Republic Act No. Section 4 (c) (4) of the Cyber Crime Law. At that time, Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes Jr. said, “This is a political and legal regression in terms of protecting free speech on the internet. Press freedom advocates, digital rights activists and human rights defenders first took the streets in 2012 to oppose Cybercrime … Bulatlat.com. Manila, Dec 4 (efe-epa).- Journalist Maria Ressa of the Philippines has been charged for a second time with cyber libel following a lawsuit filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng in February for sharing a screenshot of an article that was allegedly defamatory towards him. MANILA, Philippines — Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa said Monday she would not be silenced as she launched her defense against a libel … 10175, saying, “Will freedom of expression be stopped? This is the second time that the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel suspects this week. He was referring to the UN Human Rights Committee’s October 2011 decision stating that the Philippine criminal libel law is excessive and is in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in which the Philippines is a signatory. Both suspects, who are from Bogo City, posted bail amounting to P36,000 each. The new cyber libel case was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, related to a single tweet posted by Ressa in February 2019. Libel is “a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.” (Art. Rappler CEO Maria Ressa speaks to the media outside a regional trial court before the arraignment in her second cyber libel case, in Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines, December 15, 2020. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.The Cybercrime Prevention Act strengthened libel … The Supreme Court has mentioned the relatively new Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 in only a handful of cases. I really love that I became a criminal all in one year several times. Republic Act No. Ressa is accused of cyber libel for the second time for her tweet containing screenshots of a 2002 newspaper article about Keng's alleged involvement in criminal activities. What are needed to do so. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported that Subillaga said via Facebook that the governor was fooling the people of the province while Rodinas said the governor became rich because of a project. Cyber-libel, comment threads, social media Since the Supreme Court declared cyber-libel constitutional, social media and the Internet have become rife with libel scares and threats. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. This online/internet libel law, however, punishes only the … She and a … Read: ‘Fight vs cybercrime law not over’ — netizens. Critics call it Duterte's revenge over Rappler's hard-hitting coverage of his administration, most pointedly his violent drug war. The renowned Philippine journalist Maria Ressa has been convicted of cyber libel in Manila for an online article from 2012. c) If the libel imputes any of the private crimes, the Prosecution must be upon a complaint filed by the offended party 2. Ressa and Santos were not the first journalists to be convicted of the crime. The tweet included screenshots of an earlier story from another publication alleging ties between Keng and a judge in the Philippines -- one of the sources of the Rappler article that was the basis of a separate cyber libel charge on which Ressa was convicted in June. Among the cybercrime offenses included in the bill are cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and libel. The new cyber libel case was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, related to a single tweet posted by Ressa in February 2019. But the pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The facilities of the mass media i.e print and broadcast media such as articles, news items, columns, caricatures, editorials in newspapers and magazines; comments, opinions, news aired over the television or radio stations b). Modern communication facilities such as through the internet or cellphones, CDs, DVDs b). In response to developments in technology and the ever-growing use of multiple forms of social media in the Philippines, Congress enacted Republic Act No. It's followed by a whole slew of other cases of tax evasion and then a whole slew that is based on foreign ownership and securities fraud. November 23, 2018 at 7:25 am. North Cotabato Governor Emmylou “Lala” Taliño-Mendoza filed the charges against broadcasters Eric Rodinas, anchor of Radyo Natin and Larry Baja Subillaga Jr., a freelance broadcaster, over “malicious” statements posted in their social media accounts on March 14, 2017. It has gone full circle, it seems. 10175, is a law in the Philippines that was approved on September 12, 2012. President Rodrigo Duterte had waged a campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa and her scrappy newsroom. June 15, 2020 2:12 AM EDT Maria Ressa, the founder of an award-winning Philippines-based news site and critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, was convicted of cyber libel … Ressa, 57, was once already found guilty of cyber libel in June … Maria Ressa is the CEO of the online news portal Rappler. A court in Manila on Monday found Maria Ressa, journalist and editor of online publication Rappler, guilty of cyber libel. Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 27) — A Filipina caregiver in Taiwan is under investigation for cyber libel following her "nasty" Facebook … JULIE MCCARTHY, BYLINE: The conviction came after years of threats at the highest levels. Of the 127 cyber-libel cases, 38 have been dismissed for lack of evidence. Unsolicited advertisements are legitimate forms of expression. Sec. 4(c)(4) of R.A. 10175 states: “(4) Libel. Roque, then with Centerlaw, criticized the SC decision, saying “failing to declare libel as unconstitutional is contrary to human rights law.”. Republic Act No. On Monday night, November 4, 2019, RACU-7 also arrested Mary Grace Catapan, 31, and Jhallyn Gequillo Varga, 35, who allegedly defamed the wife of a judge in a group chat. Cyber libel is committed in the same manner as libel except for the medium of its commission which is through a computer system or device. 118757 & 121571), a 2004 case decided by the Supreme Court. Maria Ressa is the CEO of the online news portal Rappler. All rights reserved. She has been a consistent critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.… Ressa and Santos were also each ordered to pay 200,000 Philippine … She and a former colleague at the site now face up to six years in prison. The cyber libel case alarms the media because it targets an eight-year-old story under a law that was enacted four months after it was posted. Petitioners dispute the constitutionality of both the penal code provisions on libel as well as Section 4 (c) (4) of the Cybercrime Prevention Act on cyberlibel. In the Philippines today, the most prominent name in the country's media landscape has been convicted for cyber libel. She has been a consistent critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. Accuracy and availability may vary. This is the second time that the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel suspects this week. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel. In prosecuting the crime of libel or cyber libel, venue is jurisdictional. In the first cyber libel case, based on the complaint filed by Keng, a Manila regional court had found Ressa and co-defendant Reynaldo Santos Jr., a former Rappler researcher, guilty and sentenced them to a minimum of six months and one day to a maximum of six years in prison. 353. Maria Ressa, Executive Editor and CEO of Philippine news website Rappler, arrives at the Manila City Hall for the promulgation of her cyber libel case … MANILA, Philippines — A broadcaster based in Davao was arrested Friday over a cyber libel charge stemming from a Facebook post, the National Union of Journalists reported. Under the new law, the penalty is imprisonment for a minimum period of four years and one day to a maximum of eight years, per offense. Read: Campus editor threatened with libel for criticizing gov’t response on COVID-19. The Cybercrime Prevention Act imposes higher penalties for libel from a minimum of six months imprisonment in the Revised Penal Code (RPC) per count to a minimum of six years. The 56-year-old Ressa joked with reporters following the verdict about the accumulation of cases - proof, she says, that the government is weaponizing the law in a bid to defang Rappler. J ournalist Maria Ressa, founder of the news website Rappler, was arrested Wednesday in the Philippines on charges of “cyber libel” that are widely seen as a crackdown on the site’s reporting. The high court declared Section 4(c)(4), which penalized online libel, is not unconstitutional with respect to the original author of the post but unconstitutional only where it penalizes those who simply receive the post or react to it.”. Law Defining Cyber Libel R.A. 10175 deals with many crimes, including byber libel. It was a case of bad lawyering.”, Read: Cybercrime law to be used against critics, netizens, groups fear. One of the offenses punishable under this law is cyber libel. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. She posted the tweet in February 2019, a few days after she was arrested over the first case, which was in connection with a Rappler article citing an "intelligence report" linking Keng to human trafficking and drug smuggling. Duterte has faced international calls to drop all charges against the veteran reporter, with rights groups saying they amount to state harassment. Is it a new crime? The cyber libel charges against Ressa were made under a controversial cybercrime statute aimed at online offences, such as stalking and child pornography. If the posts are published and accessible in the … Roque then said that no less than the U.N. Human Rights Committee has already declared that Philippine criminal libel law is contrary to Freedom of Expression. 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