Binay supports move to decriminalize libel

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VICE President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday expressed full support to moves aimed at decriminalizing libel.

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But Binay said he agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision upholding the constitutionality of the online libel provision in Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The Supreme Court en banc came up with the decision last week.

Although he hoped that libel would be decriminalized, Binay, however, insisted that freedom of expression should be balanced with restraint and accountability.

“You cannot just allow defamation to continue without accountability. But it should not be a criminal offense,” he said.

While people have the freedom to bash others in social media, he pointed out that measures must be introduced so that those who use the medium to spread malicious statements could be made accountable.

He added that this was in light of the increasing use of social media as a means of propagating black propaganda against individuals.

“There are constraints, parameters [to freedom of expression.]You can’t simply defame one’s person on a whim,” he said during the commemoration of the 28th anniversary of the Edsa Revolution held at the People Power Monument.

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