No one wants to be hit below the belt. Hitting below the belt is libel in the context of both the Civil Law and the Anti-Cyber Crime Law.
Everyone would want to reside in a place which has clear boundaries and fair rules. A village where anyone can come in to steal and vandalize properties is unsafe. No one wants to live in such a place.
Provisions of the Anti-Cyber Crime Law are straight-forward enough: Criminal acts in cyberspace are prohibited and punishable. Although cyber sex can do with clearer parameters, such as differentiating cyber sex as a criminal act and cyber sex as a pleasure activity between couples who each has consented of his or her free will (which I think is the context of Kit Tatad’s rejection of the Law).
Relative to protection of Filipino children against cyber slavery (the violated can now sue their parents or caregivers who force them into such work; no children no matter how poor their parents are not meant to be born just to slave out like this) and protection of account owners in cyber space, this Law is to be lauded. Plagiarism (stealing) on the Net in fact is now prohibited.
So I don’t know what the furor is about over the Law. The opposition of it is like the blind stampede of frightened bulls.
If it’s the provision against libel, the same provision has been in the Civil Law, years before this Anti-Cyber Crime Law. The difference is in spatial location of the act. The provision in the Civil Law refers to the act done on physical space whereas in the latter, in virtual or cyber space.
If it’s the bloggers fearing that they’d be summarily rounded up, they’re like persons scared of their own shadows. The libel provision is clear – public leaders can be scrutinized by citizens in as far as their public functions are concerned (otherwise they can always go back to being private citizens all the time). But no hitting below the belt. Filipino basketball fans know what this means.
The opposition should read the new Law again, without malice in their minds when they do.