The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has sought the withdrawal of House Bill 4807 saying it threatens freedom of expression.
The group said the measure, also known as “An Act to Provide Protection From Personal Intrusion for Commercial Purposes,” may have been filed with all the best intentions, but “it poses an all too real threat not only to freedom of the press but on the very right to free expression.”
The bill, which was passed by the House on second reading, aims to curb acts of trespassing and other intrusions on personal privacy committed by any person in order to capture visual or sound impressions of an individual, with intent to gain or profit.
“We agree that people are entitled to privacy, in all matters that are personal and have nothing to do with the public interest.
But the measure’s intent is so broad it is likely to be used as another weapon for the criminal and the corrupt to escape account-ability should it become law,” the NUJP said in a statement.
It noted that the bill is “insidious” because it seeks to punish even if “no visual image, sound recording or other physical impression of a person was actually sold for gain or profit.”
“In an era where technology is quickly breaking down the obstacles that hamper the flow of information and expression, HB 4807 could return us to the dark ages and worse, be used as a weapon of suppression and repression,” it added.