The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III filed and later withdrew a bill seeking to abolish the much-assailed libel provision in Cybercrime Prevention Act - in deference, supposedly, to the sentiments of President Aquino.
Sotto said he filed a bill last Friday to remove libel from the Cybercrime law, but when he heard the statement of President Benigno Aquino III on the said provision, he opted to withdraw the measure.
“I withdrew it, alam mo kung bakit, kasi gusto rin ni Noynoy (President Aquino) ang libel kaya winidraw ko, hintayin ko muna ang desisyon ng Supreme Court,” Sotto explained.
Sotto said he cannot go against the position of the President on libel that is why he withdrew the proposed measure this Monday.
“The President is not against it, why will I go against it,” he argued.
Sotto added that he filed the measure to level the playing field among Internet users and mainstream media where the latter was only criminally liable under the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
“Abolition, kailangan patas-patas na, hindi lang online pati kayo (media). Sayang naman na apo ako ni press freedom law author, Sotto,” the senator said referring to his grandfather former Senator Vicente Sotto Sr.
‘Hindi decriminalizing, abolishing the libel, winidraw ko kaninang umaga. Pinapantay ko lang, nile-level ko lang sila sa inyo ang online media. Kayo meron responsibilidad. Kung ayaw nila at pag sinabi ng Supreme Court hindi dapat, di kayo rin hindi dapat,” he added.