It’s a black Wednesday here in the Philippines as one controversial law takes effect today.
The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, also known as R.A. 10175, is the reason why my country is on a hiatus. It has very vague provisions that endanger freedom of speech and human rights. It also makes you wonder what are the full intentions of the politicians that were behind in passing such bill. Questions such as did they really read the bill properly before signing it were raised.
GMA Network published an article regarding Digital Martial Law: 10 Scary Things About the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 and enumerates what are the possible horrors that can be committed when the act takes place. Even the international online community is aware of such law in the article of CBS News on Facebook’s “like” may land Filipinos in Jail. Way to go, Philippines.
Everyone is making a stand, as this is a national issue that needs to be addressed immediately. Here in my hometown in Davao, many have come together to join a Cultural Protest and Candle Lighting Program against the Cybercrime Law at Freedom Park. Students from different universities all over Davao raised protests against R.A. 10175. Keynote speakers from different organizations gave solidarity speeches, which enlightened our understanding on this law and strengthened our conviction against it. Songs were played as part of the cultural protest. The program culminated with a candle-lighting ceremony that symbolizes our hope for a better amendment towards freedom of speech.
While the protesters started the candle-lighting ceremony, a flock of white birds flew above the night sky. I hope this is a sign of good things to come and that our prayers will be answered.