The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday made final its decision on Republic Act (RA) 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 when it junked all appeals asking the tribunal to reconsider its ruling.
During the court’s en banc deliberations in Baguio City, SC justices voted to uphold a decision issued in February 2014 that upheld the constitutionality of key provisions of the controversial law, including that on online libel.
The SC upheld majority of the provisions of the law but struck out for being unconstitutional the power given to the Department of Justice (DOJ) to block access to computer data.
The tribunal declared as unconstitutional Sections 4 (c) (3), 12 and 19 of RA 101-75. Section 4 (c) (3) penalizes the posting of unsolicited commercial communications, Section 12 authorizes the collection or recording of traffic data in real-time while Section 19 authorizes the DOJ to restrict or block access to suspected computer data.
Although it upheld the constitutionality of the provision on online libel, the High Court ruled that only the author of a libelous post or article shall be punished or prosecuted.
The law, approved by President Benigno Aquino 3rd on September 12, 2012, aims to address legal issues concerning online interactions and the Internet in the Philippines.
Cybersquatting, cybersex, child pornography, identity theft, illegal access to data and libel are among the offenses included in the law.