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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cyber-Perling: Early Halloween Special

24 October 2012

(DISCLAIMER: Any opinions written in this post are Dakila Philippines' own and do not reflect the viewpoint of any other Naga City Deck and/or NCD Contributor)

Cyber-Perling: Early Halloween Special

The recent arrest and maltreatment of Ms. Esperlita Garcia, environmentalist from Nueva Vizcaya has once again put the Cybercrime Law in question. More known as Perling, the 62-year old grandmother posted statements against a Chinese and Taiwanese firm on their mining operations, which was taken as “malicious and defamatory” by the latter which led her to be sued by no less than the Mayor of their town, Carlito Pentecostes.

While the case against Perling is said to be under the Revised Penal Code and not the Cybercrime Law, the fact still remains that Perling was arrested for a Facebook post that stated out factual events, only taken badly by a public official.

Time and again, the government has been saying that the Cybercrime Law will not be used against ordinary citizens and will not be used to trample on rights of Filipinos. Maybe the President will not use it against us nor will Sec. Leila de Lima of DOJ, but we, in Dakila, opponents of the Cybercrime Law, have been saying that someday, someone will and now, someone already has.

Digital media has become a force to reckon with and has contributed a lot to activism. Posts like Perling’s, no matter how factual, will always be found “malicious and defamatory” by those who are on the other side. But it is also posts like these that need to get out there and be known to the people. The Cybercime Law merely poses a hindrance for these kinds of information to reach citizens and will be abused by the powerful against the powerless.

We, netizens and digital activists, need to continue our vigilance over the Cybercrime Law and continue the pressure on public officials for its repeals because our fears against the Cybercrime Law are no longer just fears, they are slowly coming true and Cyber-Perling is but an early Halloween special. ##


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