Section 19
  1. I agree that laws are just tools and can be used either for good or evil. Appropriate tools, however, should be given to responsible people at the correct time. You would give crayons to toddlers to let them express their creativity. You wouldn’t give a gun to teenagers to settle arguments. For me, our government is not mature and responsible enough to be provided with the encompassing powers provided by section 19 (takedown clause).
Cyber Libel
  1. Libel before the Information Age is a serious offense worthy of being treated as a crime. Due to the “one-way” nature of the traditional mass media (radio, television), paninirang-puri places the victim in a very disadvantageous position since he has limited power to let other people know his side of the story. This poses serious threats to his reputation and character. With the advent of the Internet, and with laws requiring traditional media to print or air the responses of the “aggrieved” party, everyone has been granted the power to make and rebuke claims, leveling the playing field. As such, the Internet somehow neutralized the advantages that traditional mass media personalities once exclusively enjoyed.
  2. To summarize:
    1. Traditional Mass Media Era: Journalists, writers, news anchors, politicians and other “traditional mass media personalities” acquired great powers since their words can reach the masses
    2. Libel is used to control the powers of traditional mass media
    3. Internet Era: The power of traditional mass media personalities were greatly diminished due to availability and accessibility of venues (e.g., the Internet) to express one’s thoughts and ideas
  3. What should have been done? De-criminalize libel and treat it as a civil offense
    What was done?  Impose harsher penalties for libel committed using the Internet, in effect, try to discourage people to openly express their ideas using the Internet.
  4. Why was this done? For Sotto’s reasons on why he inserted “proposed to include” libel, I can only guess. Maybe he is a psychic and foresaw that he will be greatly lambasted in the cyber world in the coming months (he inserted this on January 2012, he became major Internet “sensation” around August). It should be noted that the effects of this insertion was already pointed out by Rep. Raymond Palatino as early as March. So it may be an oversight on the part of the other lawmakers (Cayetano, Escudero, etc.), but it is not a forgivable one.
What Now?
  1. If we have a business with ineffective (and some grossly inapt) managers, what do we do? Do we just close our eyes and let them still run the business? As owners, do we retain these managers even though they do not give the results that we need?
  2. The answer is obvious, common sense, actually. We will know next year if Filipinos finally acquired one.