What does this mean for Facebook users, bloggers, and social media slaves like me? We just lost one of our constitutional rights.
In case you don’t remember, Article III Section 4 of the Bill of Rights states:
“No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
And you know what? This article is right; this whole criminalizing libel thing is something that the politicians cooked up because let’s face it, not only are they being criticized here, they are also criticized in the world stage, and since they can’t control the rest of the world, the least they can do is control their constituents.
Is this against freedom of speech and expression? Yes, because many people use the internet as a platform for their causes, and we all know that lately, those causes circle around the incompetence of the government. PDAF and Yolanda, anyone?
Is this against freedom of the press? Definitely. After all, the internet is the main source of news nowadays. Before news stories are reported on TV, the whole cyberworld is already tittering about it. Live video feed and live tweeting, duh?
Is this against the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances? This internet thing is actually the same way our national hero addressed his dismay about the Spanish government in the late 1800s. Ink on paper was the norm those days, these days, it’s the internet.
That’s why people criticize the government online, because you are never alone there. It’s easier to air your grievances in the cyberworld, and push to make a stand. Remember the pork barrel scam? Before people went to the Luneta Park for the Million People March, the cause and the details were posted online, telling people about PDAF, about how the government has gone to another sort of low. How else did they manage to have that many people there?
Is it just me or is the government taking baby steps toward communism? The next thing we know, Internet freedom will be limited, the same way China and North Korea did to shut their people up. And who knows what will happen next?
And all this because people finally started to see what sorts of stupid people are in power to manage the country.
But hey, let’s wait for more details, maybe there are other things that can make this damned law better…like passing the Magna Carta for Internet Freedom, maybe? Sen. Miriam Santiago said it all in this press release, and let’s hope she will fight for her pet. (She will)