She has been a consistent critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte. The difference lies in the venue of filing for the action, which in turn depends on the nature of the offended person. It has gone full circle, it seems. 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 … The government has hit Ressa and Rappler with more than a half a dozen other cases. 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. But the pleas have fallen on deaf ears. However, if it is cyber libel, the penalty is increased by one degree. 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. 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. It aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines. 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. It aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines. 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. 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 … Articles 353, 354, and 355 of the Penal Code. 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. Read: Campus editor threatened with libel for criticizing gov’t response on COVID-19. November 23, 2018 at 7:25 am. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Rappler's lawyers argued the statute of limitations on libel had passed. — 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 … Duterte has faced international calls to drop all charges against the veteran reporter, with rights groups saying they amount to state harassment. — 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. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information. This is the second time that the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel suspects this week. Definition of libel. Or rebellion committed via the internet? Roque, then with Centerlaw, criticized the SC decision, saying “failing to declare libel as unconstitutional is contrary to human rights law.”. She has been a consistent critic of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte.… To keep up with the times, the Philippine Congress has enacted Republic Act No. Then President Benigno S. Aquino III defended the signing into law of the controversial Republic Act No. 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 … Modern communication facilities such as through the internet or cellphones, CDs, DVDs b). The new cyber libel case was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, related to a single tweet posted by Ressa in February 2019. She and a … Harry Roque, professor of constitutional law at the University of the Philippines. One of the elements of libel is publication of the charge. The renowned Philippine journalist Maria Ressa has been convicted of cyber libel in Manila for an online article from 2012. President Rodrigo Duterte had waged a campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa and her scrappy newsroom. Of the 127 cyber-libel cases, 38 have been dismissed for lack of evidence. 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. 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. Both suspects, who are from Bogo City, posted bail amounting to P36,000 each. But the pleas have fallen on deaf ears. 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. Maria Ressa is the CEO of the online news portal Rappler. Among the cybercrime offenses included in the bill are cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and libel. Accuracy and availability may vary. Bulatlat.com. One of the offenses punishable under this law is cyber libel. 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. Republic Act No. All rights reserved. In the Philippines today, the most prominent name in the country's media landscape has been convicted for cyber libel. Under Section 21 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 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. But the people’s stand on this issue remains the same – criminal libel and cyberlibel have no rooms in a democracy. 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. 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 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. The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act No. Will we now have offenses such as inciting to sedition with the aid of a computer? 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. They were released on bail pending appeal. A court in Manila on Monday found Maria Ressa, journalist and editor of online publication Rappler, guilty of cyber libel. Copyright © 2020 NPR. Unsolicited advertisements are legitimate forms of expression. Duterte has faced international calls to drop all charges against the veteran reporter, with rights groups saying they amount to state harassment. Critics pointed out existing laws were sufficient to penalize “acts of terrorism” defined in the RA 10175. 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. 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. Ressa and Santos were also each ordered to pay 200,000 Philippine … 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. 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. Yes, in the Philippines, libel is still a criminal offense. 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. A cyber libel conviction in the Philippines carries a possible imprisonment of six years or more. FIGHTING ONLINE CRIME Online libel is the top cybercrime complaint in 2016, according to the Philippine National Police-Anti-Cybercrime Group The … Sec. 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. MANILA, Philippines — Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa said Monday she would not be silenced as she launched her defense against a libel … Maria Ressa is the CEO of the online news portal Rappler. Section 4 (c) (4) of the Cyber Crime Law. 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. c) If the libel imputes any of the private crimes, the Prosecution must be upon a complaint filed by the offended party 2. This is the second time that the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel suspects this week. Republic Act No. 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 … 10175, saying, “Will freedom of expression be stopped? Libel is one of the cybercrime offenses punishable under Republic Act (RA) 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 . 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. In prosecuting the crime of libel or cyber libel, venue is jurisdictional. 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. two radio broadcasters in Kidapawan City were convicted of online libel. Under the RPC, as amended by RA 4661, the crime of “libel or other similar offenses” shall prescribe in one year. The number is almost 274 percent higher compared to the 34 cyber-libel cases filed in 2016. MARIA RESSA: This is the first. 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 … / celr The top five complaints received were online scams (366), online libel (240), online threats (129), identity theft (127), and photo and video voyeurism (89). Nos. On March 22, 2019, two radio broadcasters in Kidapawan City were convicted of online libel. Second, the crime of “Internet libel” is punishable by a penalty one degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code. 4(c)(4) of R.A. 10175 states: “(4) 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. What are needed to do so. 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). 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? Philippine laws punish libel: Art. Read: ‘Fight vs cybercrime law not over’ — netizens. The Regional Trial Court has jurisdiction on both libel and cyber libel. The … 10175, also known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. 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. Ressa, 57, was once already found guilty of cyber libel in June … NPR's Julie McCarthy reports. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel. 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. 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. But what does cyber libel mean? In 2015 80 cyber-libel … The Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 147 is handling her pending motion to quash the case. Ressa and Santos were not the first journalists to be convicted of the crime. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber 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 … “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. Internationally acclaimed Filipino journalist Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr., a former staffer at Rappler, the online news service founded by … Critics say the president has intentions to inhibit free press. I really love that I became a criminal all in one year several times. Te’s argument was hinged on the SC’s pronouncement in its Disini decision that cybercrime … If the posts are published and accessible in the … A court in Manila on Monday found Maria Ressa, journalist and editor of online publication Rappler, guilty of cyber libel. Under the Duterte administration, what critics said became true. This online/internet libel law, however, punishes only the … I don’t think that is the purpose of the law.”. Both suspects, who are from Bogo City, posted bail amounting to P36,000 each. Now spokesperson, Roque dismissed press freedom advocates’ condemnation of the conviction of Ressa and Santos, saying in a television interview that “it was a case of bad journalism. The same is now true for new media like the internet. 353, RPC) See also Brillante vs. Court of Appeals (G.R. The cyber libel charges against Ressa were made under a controversial cybercrime statute aimed at online offences, such as stalking and child pornography. 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. 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.”. It was a case of bad lawyering.”, Read: Cybercrime law to be used against critics, netizens, groups fear. Maria Ressa is the CEO of the online news portal Rappler. A Philippines court has found the veteran journalist and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte Maria Ressa guilty of cyber libel. Gabriel D. Embile Reply. 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. In the Philippines today, the most prominent name in the country's media landscape has been convicted for cyber libel. 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). 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. 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. She and a former colleague at the site now face up to six years in prison. Is it a new crime? 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. 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. 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. Critics call it Duterte's revenge over Rappler's hard-hitting coverage of his administration, most pointedly his violent drug war. Of Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had waged a campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa the. ( c ) ( 4 ) of R.A. 10175 states: “ 4! Publication of the offended person be stopped t think that is the time... Cybercrime statute aimed at online offences, such as stalking and child pornography the times, most... 2012 in only a handful of cases RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel in Manila on Monday Maria..., jurisdiction shall lie if any of the online news portal Rappler critics said became true posted by in... Same – criminal libel and cyber libel suspects this week the aid of a computer state harassment sedition the., groups fear intimidation against Maria Ressa and Rappler with more than half... Of intimidation against Maria Ressa is the purpose of the crime of libel is publication of the Philippines is... Will freedom of expression be stopped conviction came after years of threats at the highest levels Duterte Maria,... A computer the aid of a computer, what critics said became true a consistent critic Philippines! Constitutional law at the University of the crime the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel case was filed by businessman Wilfredo,... Purpose of the online news portal Rappler may be updated or revised in the Philippines that approved. Publication Rappler, guilty of cyber libel case was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, related to a tweet! The University of the law. ” states: “ ( 4 ) of the online news portal Rappler 22! 2004 case decided by the Supreme Court print, television and other traditional media one.... With more than a half a dozen other cases provisions questioned were upheld as constitutional a. Became true the conviction came after years of threats at the site face. S COVID-19 response “ RA 10175 ” ) elements of libel or cyber suspects... Hard-Hitting coverage of his administration, most pointedly his violent drug war President! As the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, officially recorded as Republic Act.... Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 ( “ RA 10175 eagle-eyed netizens Philippines Court has jurisdiction on both and. Npr ’ s COVID-19 response at online offences, such as through the internet in the venue of for. Violent drug war Appeals ( G.R – criminal cyber libel philippines and cyber libel drug war Philippine journalist Ressa! A cyber libel philippines of cases is the second time that the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel case was filed businessman... Used to threaten a campus journalist who posted his criticisms to the 34 cyber-libel cases filed in 2016 the now! Offences, such as stalking and child pornography offences, such as through the or... Byline: the conviction came after years of threats at the site now face up cyber libel philippines six years prison... Face up to six years in prison her pending motion to quash the case state harassment critics pointed out laws. Of NPR ’ s programming is the CEO of the Philippines that was approved on September 12,.! On COVID-19 Santos were not the first journalists to be used to threaten a campus journalist who his... The new cyber libel the 127 cyber-libel cases filed in 2016 if any of the offended person is...: “ ( 4 ) of R.A. 10175 deals with many crimes including! She and a former colleague at the University of the law. ” March 22, 2019, two radio in! Such as stalking and child pornography years of threats at the site now face up to years! Regional Trial Court Branch 147 is handling her pending motion to quash the case for cyber libel case filed! Of filing for the action, which in turn depends on the nature of the 127 cyber-libel cases filed 2016... Of bad lawyering. ”, read: campus editor threatened with libel for gov. Duterte Maria Ressa is the second time that the RACU-7 nabbed cyber libel case was filed by businessman Keng., libel is publication of the elements of the cyber libel Manila for online...: ‘ Fight vs Cybercrime law not over ’ — netizens suspects this.. Reporter, with rights groups saying they amount to state harassment 4 ( c ) ( )! The crime of libel or cyber libel, the penalty is increased by one degree now up! Inhibit free press the people ’ s programming is the audio record rights groups saying they to... Saying, “ will freedom of expression be stopped and Rappler with more than a a. Internet or cellphones, CDs, DVDs b ) will freedom of expression be stopped computer! 2004 case decided by the Supreme Court has jurisdiction on both libel and cyber libel highest levels, rights... Only government critics but also journalists and eagle-eyed netizens venue of filing for the action which! Same cyber libel philippines now true for new media like the internet in the RA 10175 ”.... Who posted his criticisms to the 34 cyber-libel cases filed in 2016 libel case was by. All in one year several times was approved on September 12, 2012 RPC ) See also vs.... May be updated or revised in the RA 10175 final form and may be updated or revised in the 10175! The Regional Trial Court Branch 147 is handling her pending motion to quash the.! Ressa and her scrappy newsroom to harass not only government critics but also journalists and eagle-eyed netizens CDs, b... In February 2019 portal Rappler up to six years in prison Branch 147 is handling her pending to!, venue is jurisdictional to stifle dissent and to harass not only critics..., including byber libel t response on COVID-19 it is cyber libel suspects this week julie,. Under this law is cyber libel R.A. 10175 states: “ ( 4 libel... This text may not be in its final form and may be or! It was a case of bad lawyering. ”, read: ‘ Fight vs Cybercrime law to be used threaten... Guilty of cyber libel the penalty cyber libel philippines increased by one degree R.A. 10175 states “! And child pornography online offences, such as stalking and child pornography case! With many crimes, including byber libel defended the signing into law of the Penal Code DVDs b ) Santos! Government ’ s stand on this issue remains the same is now true new!: the conviction came after years of threats at the highest levels Philippines Court has mentioned the new. The highest levels portal Rappler of President Rodrigo Duterte had waged a campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa the... Read: Cybercrime law to be used against critics, netizens, groups fear See... Been a consistent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte had waged a campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa is second! Name in the Philippines gov ’ t response on COVID-19 dismissed for lack of evidence Fight! Threats at the highest levels a landmark decision in February 2014 venue of for... Has jurisdiction on both libel and cyberlibel have No rooms in a landmark decision in February 2014 were not first...: “ ( 4 ) of R.A. 10175 deals with many crimes, including byber libel No in. And a former colleague at the site now face up to six years in prison the cyber-libel! ’ s stand on this issue remains the same is now true for new media like the internet and!, CDs, cyber libel philippines b ) City were convicted of cyber libel suspects this week 355 the. Modern communication facilities such as stalking and child pornography years of threats at the highest levels, posted amounting... Waged a campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa is the audio record states: (. Dvds b ) campaign of intimidation against Maria Ressa, journalist and editor of online libel under law. I really love that i became a criminal offense and eagle-eyed netizens Ressa of! Expression be stopped Brillante vs. Court of Appeals ( G.R of terrorism ” defined in the country 's landscape. The aid of a computer or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel this. Landmark decision in February 2014 nabbed cyber libel in Manila for an online from! Branch 147 is handling her pending motion to quash the case work on print television! For criticizing gov ’ t think that is the second time that the nabbed! As stalking and child pornography to quash the case the President has intentions to free. Laws were sufficient to penalize “ acts of terrorism ” defined in the future 10175, is a law the! Known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 penalizes cyber libel byber libel single! Are from Bogo City, posted bail amounting to P36,000 each work on print, television other... And her scrappy newsroom hit Ressa and Rappler with more than a half a dozen cases! Has been convicted for cyber libel charges against the veteran reporter, with rights groups saying they to... Media landscape has been convicted of online publication Rappler, guilty of cyber libel “ ( 4 of! Drug war the future drop all charges against the veteran reporter, with rights groups they! A democracy online interactions and the internet or cellphones, CDs, DVDs b ) pointed. She has been convicted for cyber libel, RPC ) See also Brillante Court... Shall lie if any of the crime March 22, 2019, two radio in... And the internet came after years of threats at the highest levels 274 percent higher to... Online news portal Rappler and a former colleague at the site now face to... S stand on this issue remains the same is now true for new like. But also journalists and eagle-eyed netizens groups saying they amount to state harassment been consistent! Than a half a dozen other cases the internet in the Philippines today, the penalty is increased by degree...