First week: the same old topic keeps circulating around. Second week: it’s getting started to hum like bees with placards. You probably know what it is all about, for there are just three hot topics that dominate the Philippine news today: UNA vs Admin, Bansangmoro (finally getting an electric starter for golden bullet, at last!) and the Cybercrime Law to which cyberpeople with their cyberprojects wish to halt, full stop. Of the three, nothing seems more controversial than the CL (pardon me for the initial because it seems the word “cyber” becomes an overrated term while “law” sounds so technical that only suits my wife to explain). Well I got nothing against it except that it stirs a lot of controversy of defining the world “libel” as an antecedent to the Revised Penal Code and the one as attached to the CL. When you’re seated in front of a TV and you prowl for the latest news and all you scoop about is the same topic that had been winded over and over again, you get bored - I mean literally bored- because what goes around for a long time becomes normal just like the rest. CL+CL= "bordamn" (or dilation of the iris, without remedy)!
No, don’t get me wrong, I have read the provisions of the CL, at least to make me a little aware what’s this buzz all about. And based on what I have read, there is an apparent "off tangents" in the said law. One of those glaring subjects, of course, is the word “libel”. While libel may seem applicable to media, only because they are but for public consumption and has the resources to find out the real stories behind, and thus must stress facts over rumors. Print media are bounded by oath to facts in order not to impinge biases on the stories they unveil. If a story came out otherwise, whether it’ll be on paper or the internet, now, that is literally LIBEL (although they can always evade the penalty by simply embracing the tactic of “public apology”). I am sorry, ika nga ni GMA.
On the other limb, within the scope of the CL, people who only want to voice out their views via their blogs or social media sites would be imperiled. For someone like me who is a disciple of sarcasm, I should perhaps pack my things and secure a court order of my remittance to the nearest jail and prepare a penalty of 600-2000 pesos lang naman. That will be a small amount for a legal penalty, yet that will surely stain your name. You will have it etched in your NBI clearance forever.
But, no, the DOJ said they elucidated the law which exempts bloggers. A sigh of relief. But I could never feel remorse if this law is pursued. One thing for sure if they stringently impose this and if I were to be thrown inside a penal colony for lambasting whoever that is worth lambasting, I will surely get to face Conrado de Quiros, Cito Beltran, Mon Casiple and Winnie Monsod –all of them have written both in papers and in the “cloud” and have greatly fascinated this dull brain of mine. (And what about William Esposo? Oh, he is and will be very safe.) The funny thing is, all jails will be crowded with facebookers and bloggers who just voiced out their sentiments. Imagine if there are 30 million FB users and half of them posted about something that is not pleasing to politicians, especially that the election zeitgeist is starting to creep up in our nerves, there surely wont be a jail large enough to accommodate these criminals. There wont be a correctional willing to commit these criminals for they surely know they will be whining day in and day out inside the cell, calling for justice – their dignity suddenly stamped down.
Of course that will never happen. That is beyond judicial cognition to impose such penalty bereft of reason to respect the so called “personal opinion.” And if they ever try, well see… they might experience another of their government site hacked by Philippine Anynonymous (such as a brilliant name to call themselves, yet I like to call them Bogus). It’s just amusing to think that what politician assumed to be a perfume for the upcoming election turned out to be, if my prediction is correct, a stale that will pull them down. I could not help but think if our president had really read it well before he inked it for good? Or did the paper turned yellow that he liked the color so much without minding to read the details of the law? Or did he sign it to show that his administration is working so hard to protect the people and therefore must be trusted? Or it was just another pogi-point to garner votes for the upcoming election for his senatorial slate? Does CL means “Colored”, politically? I don’t know. He alone knows. And he alone knows well if I should be sent to prison for writing this.