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Catholics join clamor against cybercrime law

Education group calls for immediate repeal

  • ucanews.com reporter, Manila
  • Philippines
  • October 8, 2012
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CEAP, the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, today called on the government to heed calls for an amendment of the newly-enacted cybercrime law.

The organization, which represents 1,252 Catholic universities and colleges, said in a statement that some provisions of the law violate the constitutionally guaranteed freedoms of expression and speech, and "transgress our right to privacy."

"We are wary that this law, while intending to combat criminal activities on the internet, unlawfully curtails the individual right to free speech," the statement said.

"We are disturbed that this law, while hoping to respond quickly to offenses committed online, gives blanket authority to the executive arm to restrict or control data."

The group cited the provisions on online libel and real time collection of traffic data and the restriction of access to computer data.

CEAP said such provisions may "pave the way for another era of suppression of liberties by the state. We call for the immediate repeal or amendment of these provisions."

The statement called on legislators to remember the words of Pope John Paul II, when he said in Manila that even in exceptional situations "one can never justify any violation of the fundamental dignity of the human person or of the basic rights that safeguard this dignity."

The organization said the late pontiff told Filipinos during his visit in 1981 that legitimate concern for the security of a nation "could lead to the temptation of subjugating to the state the human being and his or her dignity and rights."

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