Legarda files another bill to decriminalize libel | Inquirer News

Legarda files another bill to decriminalize libel

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 04:45 AM August 21, 2023

Legarda files another bill to decriminalize libel

Loren Legarda

Senate President Pro Tempore Loren Legarda has renewed her call to decriminalize libel as she filed a measure seeking to repeal the country’s criminal anti-defamation laws to “restore public trust and promote good governance.”

“With the decriminalization of all forms of libel, we will be upholding our constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right to freedom of speech, expression and the press,” Legarda said in filing Senate Bill No. 2403.


“In a democratic society, it is imperative to uphold and defend the right to freedom of expression in all its forms. This commitment should encompass a particular interest in facilitating a press and media environment that remains free, uncensored and unhindered,” she stressed.


Legarda, a former broadcast journalist, was the latest senator to file a bill that seeks to remove the criminal penalties for libel under the Revised Penal Code and Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano and Juan Edgardo Angara earlier filed similar bills.

According to Legarda, removing any “hindrance to free speech” would allow the public to hold government officials accountable for their actions.

“Freedom of opinion and freedom of expression are indispensable conditions for the complete development of an individual,” the senator said. “They stand as essential pillars of any thriving society, forming the foundation upon which all free and democratic societies are built,” she added.

Once enacted into law, she said all pending cases involving the repealed clauses of the two criminal libel laws would be dismissed. INQ



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TAGS: bill decriminalizing libel, Loren Legarda

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