SC grants motion to cancel oral argument on cybercrime law


The Supreme Court building in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The Supreme Court postponed the oral argument on the petition against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 to next week upon the request of the government lawyer.

Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, the lead government counsel, told the high court that he was requested by President Benigno Aquino III to seek the postponement.

Acting spokesperson lawyer Gleo Guerra said the oral argument is rescheduled next Tuesday, January 29.

The postponement surprised the petitioners among them lawyer JJ Disini.

“… I only found out as I was walking in, everyone was going out [of the hall],” Disini told reporters.

He said he was a bit dismayed by the delay.

“They were, in effect, given more time to prepare their arguments. Our only hope is that by next week, there is already a resolution on our motion to extend the restraining order,” Disini said.

The restraining order against the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act will lapse on February 5. The petitioners sought an extension of the TRO. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno said last week that it will be discussed in future court sessions.

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  • Weder-Weder Lang

    By cancelling the oral argument for today and delaying the proceedings, the SC and the administration are hoping to allow the TRO to expire by Feb 06, 2013. By now, NBI’s Anti-Cybercrime Division should be ready to track down IP addresses and conduct data surveillance. Instead of meting the public backlash head on, the administration chose to work around public resistance.

    • WeAry_Bat

      Water flows to seek its level.

      If expression is dammed, where else will it go…Maybe through the muzzle of a firearm,  when martial law was imposed.

      Water seeks its own level…The onerous provision in libel is likely to encourage more anonymous with differing ways of anonymizing themselves. 

      This is a local law.  The online world is international with some free services and software for masking identity.  It will be the laughingstock of the legal community when in some cases, the local law could not enforce itself because it was not thought well.

      I cannot imagine the number of ways where free speech may come out. 

      But I do foresee a time when the government apparatus on data surveillance will be turned towards itself.  I imagine scandals where politicians and judges are caught recorded online.

  • noynoyingalways

    No matter what preparation PNOY’s team will do… They will lose the battle… Arguments pa lang nila sablay na… lol!

  • Edgardo Mendoza


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