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Aquino government to proceed with drafting of implementing rules and regulations of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012

The Aquino administration would proceed with the drafting of the newly-enacted Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012's Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) saying it is duty-bound to implement the law, a Palace official said on Monday. Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Monday that the executive branch of government cannot suspend the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 which took effect on October 3.

"There were plans by the House and the Senate to issue a joint resolution but there has been no movement towards that. So, in the absence of any movement or any effort to suspend the implementation, we, as the Executive branch are duty-bound to implement the law," Lacierda said.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) set a meeting with the stakeholders on Tuesday for the conduct of the consultations regarding the drafting of the IRR of the newly enacted Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

"I understand it’s open to the public. Certainly there will be invitations to the media, to the IT community kasi focus din dito ang cybercrime protection: how does one address the cybercrime provisions and how does one implement those provisions," Lacierda said.

Lacierda reiterated that the government would not suppress the freedom of the press or freedom of expression and remains committed to uphold the civil liberties as guaranteed by the Constitution.

The Cybercrime Prevention Act was enacted by Congress to address the legitimate concerns about criminal activities on the Internet and the effects of abusive behavior, according to Lacierda.

The law aims to protect the public against hackers who deprive anyone of access to the Internet or to suppress civil liberties as exercised online," Lacierda said.

He also said that the government has taken measures against hackers who have engaged in online vandalism, depriving the broader public of access to much needed government information and services online.

Lacierda also noted that the government also recognizes the rights of the individuals who are maliciously maligned on-line.

"The subject of libel is already found in the Revised Penal Code. Never at any time did the Supreme Court rule that libel was unconstitutional," he stressed.

"Bottom line is: Can one sue a person for libel on print, on radio, on TV and then exempt cyberspace if one writes something libelous? ‘Yun lang naman talaga ang sinasabi ni Presidente," he said.

Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO)

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