By Raïssa Robles
Even when the Philippines was a colony under Spain and the US, the prescription period—or length of time within which a libel case has to be filed—never ran beyond two years.
So why and when did the prescription period for libel suddenly become twelve years?
I cannot stress enough the importance of the length of the prescription period for libel not only to journalists but to anyone using social media and the Internet.
After having investigated the matter, I believe the Department of Justice under President Rodrigo Duterte arbitrarily lengthened the prescription period for libel to 12 years by misusing a 93-year-old Philippine law.
If the DOJ interpretation is upheld by the Supreme Court, it means journalists and anyone online can be slapped with libel lawsuits for something they wrote as far back as 12 years.
This interpretation will especially be hard on editors even in print newspapers with online presence because they will be held liable for articles they edited in that period.
How can they defend themselves when they are likely not to recall the actual circumstances behind the publication of, for example, an article which a litigant suddenly claims defamed him nearly 12 years after publication?
An excessively long prescription period will have a very chilling effect on press freedom and journalists.
A lengthy prescription period gives complainants excessive advantage. How many can remember the details of an alleged libelous piece published over a decade ago and kept supporting documents?
There are particular reasons why someone personally offended by something written about him or her has to file a lawsuit within the one year prescription period.
Foremost is that the slur in question is still fresh in the minds of both parties and the claims of both sides can be checked readily.
How did the Duterte government suddenly stretch the prescription period to 12 years?
The Department of Justice dug up a 93-year-old law and paired that with the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Before I go any further, let me give you first a brief history of libel laws in the Philippines insofar as prescription periods are concerned. Because knowing this will make you see that what the Duterte government did is not only ridiculous but downright dangerous.
Prescription period for libel in the Philippines: A brief history
For much of the 333 years under Spanish rule, there appeared to be no formal law that defined what we now know as crimes against honor such as “libel”.
It was only on September 4, 1884 that a Royal Decree was issued directing for the first time the publication in Manila of The Código Penal Vigente en las Islas Filipinas. The Código Penal, in short.
I don’t read Spanish so I turned to my brother-in-law, Dr. Alfredo Robles, a retired De la Salle University professor who is an internationally accredited translator from Spanish to English, a history graduate from the University of the Philippines, and who once studied at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
I asked him to look up the crime equivalent to libel and the prescription period in The Código Penal. I provided him with an online copy, which you can also look at by clicking on this link –
He found two crimes similar to our modern-day libel: “Calumnia” and “Injuria”.
Art. 452. Es calumnia la falsa imputacion de un delito de los que dan lugar à procedimientos de oficio (a)
Art. 456. Es injuria toda expresion proferida ò accion ejecutada en deshonra, descrédito ò menos-precio de otra persona (a).
He also looked for the prescription periods for both crimes:
Exceptúanse los delitos de calumnia é injuria, de los cuales los primeros se prescribirán al año y los segundos á los seis meses.
He translated this to:
The crimes of calumny and contumely are excepted, the first of which shall prescribe after one year and the second after six months.
In June 1900, the US War Department’s Division of Customs and Insular Affairs published an official translation of the Código Penal, called it The Penal Code and adopted it for Philippine use. You can access an online copy of the Penal Code by clicking here. “Calumnia” was officially translated as calumny and “Injuria” as contumely.
Articles 452 and 456 on these two crimes were translated by the US War Department this way:
Art. 452. Calumny is the false imputation of a crime of those subject to prosecution at the instance of the government (de officio).
Art. 456. Contumely includes every expression pronounced or action executed, with a view to dishonoring or holding up to contempt another person.
The prescription periods were translated this way:
“The crimes of calumny and contumely,,,shall prescribe after one year and the second after six months.”
Feeling that these two crimes were inadequate to cover all aspects of defamation, the Philippine Commission issued Act No. 277 on October 24, 1901 specifically “Defining the Law of Libel and threats to Publish a Libel…”
According to Act No. 277,
A libel is a malicious defamation, expressed either in writing, printing, or by signs or pictures, or the like, or public theatrical exhibitions, tending to blacken the memory of one who is dead or to impeach the honesty, virtue, or reputation, or publish the alleged or natural defects of one who is alive, and thereby expose him to public hatred, contempt, or ridicule.
Act No. 277, however, did not mention any prescription period. We can therefore assume the one-year prescription period in the Penal Code stayed.
This law is available in one local website, lawyerly.ph
However, the text of Act No. 277 is included in a 1903 Supreme Court decision on the libel case filed by the late Benito Legarda, known as US v Dorr. You can view the entire decision by clicking on this link.
How DOJ tied a 93-year-old law to cyber libel
On December 4, 1926, Commonwealth Act 3326 was passed. It was specifically intended “to establish periods of prescription for violations penalized by Special Acts.”
Section 3 of
CA Act no. 3326 defines very clearly what it considers “special laws”. It states:
Sec. 3. For the purposes of this Act, special acts shall be acts defining and penalizing violations of the law not included in the Penal Code.
Simply put, any law that is not included in the Penal Code is a “special law”.
It would appear then at that time, that Act No. 277 defining the crime of libel was a special law since it was not included in the Penal Code translated from Spanish.
When CA 3326 was approved in 1926, the only Penal Code used in the Philippine Islands was The Código Penal Vigente en las Islas Filipinas, which the US Department of War then translated into English and called the Penal Code.
In 1930, the Penal Code was replaced by Commonwealth Act 3815, which stipulated that “this law shall be known as ‘The Revised Penal Code’.”
This is still in force to this day, although with even many more revisions.
To justify the arrest of journalist Maria Ressa years after the alleged libel, the Department of Justice resolution invoked
CA Act No. 3326 or the 1926 law defining prescription periods of “special laws”.
Problem was, somebody goofed inside DOJ and the law that was cited in the resolution was Republic Act 3326 instead of Commonwealth Act 3326. [See my story—DOJ uses wrong law to justify charging Maria Ressa with cyber libel beyond the one year prescriptive period
Let us assume for now that DOJ meant
CA Act no. 3326. This law tied the length of the prescription period to the length of the jail sentence imposed for crimes in “special laws”.
The DOJ argument goes this way—Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as The Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, is a “special law” that includes the crime of cyber libel. It slaps a penalty that is one degree higher than what the Revised Penal Code provides. Because of that, the jail sentence for cyber libel can go up to 12 years.
Because the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 is a “special law”, according to the DOJ, the computation of the prescription periods for the crimes under the Cybercrime law should be derived from
CA Act No. 3326.
CA Act No. 3326 provides a prescription period of “after 12 years” for special law crimes punished by six years or more in jail, then cyber libel – which has a jail sentence that could reach 12 years – falls under the 12-year prescription period found in CA Act No. 3326. Therefore, the prescription period for cyber libel is “after 12 years”.
The question over the prescription period of cyber libel was not the subject of Senate floor debates before the passage of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. No prescription period is cited in this law.
CA Act No. 3326 is the wrong law to use for computing the prescription period of cyber libel
CORRECTION: @Tomas Gomez III has pointed out that the law should be called Act No. 3326 and not CA or Commonwealth Act No. 3326, since the Commonwealth Period only started in 1935. I stand corrected.
If we go by the DOJ argument that
CA Act No. 3326 should be used in Maria Ressa’s case to stretch the prescription period, I believe this is highly idiotic.
CA Act No. 3326 defines special laws as “acts defining and penalizing violations of the law not included in the Penal Code.” In other words, all laws outside the Penal Code.
Using that definition, then we should regard the present “Revised Penal Code” also as a special law since this is outside the Penal Code, as I have shown earlier.
After all, the Revised Penal Code is NOT the Penal Code being referred to in CA 3326. The Penal Code at the time that
CA Act No. 3326 was approved was the English translation of the Código Penal Vigente en las Islas Filipinas of the US War Department.
So this brings us to a totally absurd situation. If the Revised Penal Code is a special law, as defined by CA 3326, then the Revised Penal Code should also be following the prescription periods set by
CA Act No. 3326.
However, the Revised Penal Code most certainly clashes with
CA Act No. 3326 when it comes to the prescription period for libel.
The Revised Penal Code sets very specific prescription periods depending on the years of jail sentence. However, it made a specific exception for the crime of libel.
“The crime of libel or other similar offenses shall prescribe in two years.”
Moreover, on June 18, 1966, Philippine Congress enacted Republic Act No. 4661 which reduced the prescription period to one year:
“The crime of libel or other similar offenses shall prescribe in one year.”
The Revised Penal Code already includes cyber libel
I believe that as far back as 1930 when the Revised Penal Code was approved, lawmakers had already anticipated other forms of committing libel such as cyber libel insofar as the prescription period was concerned because they inserted the phrase “libel or other similar offenses.”
Did the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175) set a new prescription period for libel?
Not at all. This law is silent on prescription period.
Because the libel that is mentioned in this law has the same definition already found in the Revised Penal Code.
RA 10175 states that one of the “content-related offenses” is:
“(4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”
As University of the Philippines constitutional law professor Antonio La Vina told me in an interview, cyber libel “is not a new crime” but a new method of committing an existing crime. Because of this, he said, “it’s absolutely wrong for the prescription period to run 12 years.”
What do you think?
I am not good in Mathematics, but ‘Ang Nars’ are petitioning the SC to implement a law for their SALARY to P31,545 a month. OSG opposses the petition.
If P25.4 billion were divided equally among 23 senators, each would have P1.1 billion. PORK BARREL Budget 2019 issue.
P1.1 billion vs. P31,545.00! What’s the difference of nurses’ work with lawmakers work? The former saves lives while the latter does not but kill taxpayers’ lives.
So, who should get the increase NURSES or lawmakers?
have the nurses been sekyus, solgen calida will give them pay rises, no questions asked.
now, if calida gets sick and is admitted to hospital, nurses know what to do!
Para sa akin, mga KANDIDATO ‘singing’ or even dancing to gauge to vote dapat ma-kantiyawan.kasi maya-mot!.
Na KAKASUYA! When singing or dancing for voters, just go to the best at YOUTUBE or DIY na lang.
I cast my NO vote singing & dancing for them at the polls on May 2019 and YES for OTHER kandidatos.
Pork barrel news
Where is the ‘“wage distortion” among public workers’ ?
Distorted life in ‘Pinas.
dancing and singing, hindi kasi kaya ang debate kaya hanggang singing and dancing na lang.
ang senado is not tawag ng tanghalan, he, he, he, not i can see your voice din po and certainly not pinoy big brother.
voters should have asked for envelopes with one thousand sa luob, kaya yan ng mga hugpongeras at hugpongeros ni sara. ang yayaman nila, bilyonaryo si bong go at ang mga reelectionists ay may matatabang pork barrels. uy! mag- share kayo!
singing and dancing, mata at tenga lang ang nabubusog, dapat tiyan din po. dapat may envelopes na may isang libo sa luob ang pinamigay, thanks for your patience and thanks for listening. dapat charitable and mg hugpongeros at hugpongeras, and put their money where their mouths are. he, he, he.
hay, ang otso diretso ko ay pulubi, halos pudpud ang sapatos! pero, I’ll vote for them talaga come hell and high water.
those singing and dancing, I can dance and sing better than them, I might as well vote myself in, he, he, he. and if I want to see sighing and dancing, I’ll go to concerts.
no votes from me for the self appointed singers and dancers. but if they can fly, I might reconsider, he, he, he.
otso diretco pa gani! straight to the heart.
‘Duterte: Allow illegal Chinese to work here’ Now, a change of tune. This country will be now be the Land of the free and home of the naives’! Natatakot na!
‘Yun lang naman kasing mga may alien employment permit, kaya sila binigyan ng permit, dahil ‘yung trabahong gagawin nila dito ay ‘di kaya ng mga Pilipino. O kaya, kahit kaya, ayaw,” Bello said in an interview on GMA’s Super Radyo dzBB, which was cited in the report.’ Sec. Bello
When these illegal Chinese workers becomes the Amo or employer later on, the ‘Pinoys will be able to ‘Kaya’ the trabaho!
Kuya Koi says
hindi ako naniniwala dyan. Echos lang yan. Basta Illegal, illegal kelan ba pwede maging legal ang illegal? May napanood akong balita noon sa africa ganyan din sinabi sa kanila ng china yung mga simpleng construction workers, welders, machine operators di ba kaya ng mga africans yun? kunwari lang yan. Baka nagpapabaha ng mga mainlanders kasi unti unti na tayo ini-integrate sa china. Hindi ko talaga gusto yung chinese ambassador dahil feeling ko pinagtatawanan tayo nun like yun pag donate nila ng 5mil yuan/ 38 mil sa jolo blast todo press release sila everytime nagbibigay sila pera. yung pangit pa ay yung slang ng 5 at 38 pag pinagsama mo ay
5= wu wu wu (iyak/sob/pity) 38=bitch. impossibleng hindi nila alam yan kasi being kami nga ina-avoid nga namin mag regalo ng 4s,10s,250,748 and 5 at 2s or pairs (sa patay or namatayan) at ang mga numbers na yan ay may ibang meaning.
ganyan din po ang ginawa ng china sa tibet, flooded tibet with chinese workers hanggang naging majority ang chinese at nadaig ang tibetans. china soon took over control of tibet. china even put its own dalai lama while the real dalai lama was exiled to india. I don like the smiling chinese dalai lama, smiling siya habang tibetans are burning themselves in protest. the chinese dalai lama traveled around the world promoting peace. habang the real dalai lama is not allowed to leave the compound in india, or he’ll be shot!
leona, when illegal chinese workers become amo of pinoys, mas mabagsik na amo kay digong, pinoys will be able to kaya the trabaho na kaya naman nila nuon pa. worse, baka pinoys workers will be sidelined yet again, dahil illegal chinese workers will bring their families and friends to pinas and work for them. and still no jobs for pinoys.
illegal chinese workers once they become majority, they’ll not only control our economy and dictate our politics, they may even legitimize and bring along heavily armed chinese soldiers to protect their own interests and holdings. and pinoys will be intimidated into total submission, walang imik and pinas becomes province of china.
God saves the Philippines. Amen.
illegal chinese workers allowed to work, sabi ni digong, kaso illegals dont need digong ‘allowed to work’ dahil they’re already here and working natagal na. huli ang announcement ni digong, he, he, he, playing catch up na lang si digong, nagpower nap kasi sa kangkungan sa dabaw. naunahan siya ng mga illegals. they dont need his approval to work here there and everywhere.
illegals will sink our economy, they earn more than pinoys and yet pay no tax!
at saka, the quality for their work is hard to ascertain. they answer to no one and vanish when held to account.
at lito yata si digong, we are not after aliens na may employment permits. what we are after are those aliens that have no employment permits. big difference between the two. panelo ought to explain the difference to digong and maybe up digong’s marijuana intake so digong can understand better, he, he, he.
those that have no employment permits, no documents and no IDs are the ones being targeted, mga illegals baga sila and ought to be deported. let them stay and work here and they’ll text their families and friends in china and they’ll come to pinas in droves! easy money, no tax. big incentive for illegals.
and some illegals are involve in criminal activities, manufacturing drugs, scammings legitimate workers, etc.
and of concern to me is that illegals are not subjected to health checks, basta trabaho na lang sila. malay mo, hiv positive sila and spread disease around, infecting locals.
ncr has biggest increase of hiv positive cases.
Pres. Duterte concerned that COCAINE from Colombia is now transhipped into this country. PNP hauled this illegal drug 74 bricks, at least 164.8 kilograms – an estimated value of over ₱871 million according to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency.
Alarming indeed! Cocaine’s retail price per gram – about $150 per pure gram = Ph Pesos P7,800.00. Will cocaine sell here? A big question.
Our country is ‘a thousand islands’. Cocaine drug landed at Eastern seaboard in this country. Do we have sufficient Coast Guard boats or ‘bancas’ to check shipments of this illegal drug? Very alarming indeed! The fight against illegal drug potentially to increase together with SHABU. How does a country stop this?
More killing to users of illegal drug will not. Death penalty crime to suppliers and manufacturers of cocaine, etc.? Any suggestions?
Billions of dollars of cocaine are smuggled into the US by sea every year, and the Coast Guard says it can only stop one-quarter of it
CNN cocaine news – Pres. Duterte.
may drug war kasi ang pinas kaya angdito yang mga cartels, the more the merrier!
alam yata ng mga cartels and drug war sa pinas is fake, kaya come one come all sila, yay! let’s party!
so much coccaine around, methink, digong will soon update from using marijuana to using cocaine. and what do they do with all those bricks of cocaine found? pinaghati-hatian ng kapolisan at pinagbibinta sa madla. drug war! party war! money, money,money. he, he, he.
our navy is supposed to keep eye on our waters, our air force control the air over and above pinas, our land and sea both patrolled.
navy is supposed to intercept maritime vessels and stop them unloading illegal drugs while at sea, and in conjunction with our air force who manned and kept look out in the sky, there should be no illegal dumpings of drugs at sea. and yet, here we are, dinadagsa ng bricks of cocaine. highly paid pa naman ang navy at ang air force natin and both have not much productivity. not much to show for such high paid jobs. not guarding our air space and water space. sayang, may mga state of the art radars pa naman sila and yet, cannot track illegal activities.
missing in action ang navy at air force, much like digong na laging missing sa important anibersaryos ng bayan. taumbayan na lang ang nagbabantay sa karagatan natin, alerting kapolisan of the whereabouts of bricks; taumbayan ginawang unpaid watchers of our shores, much maligned and burdened with high prices of goods and commodities.
dapat, taumbayan be given bounty for finding bricks of cocaine. else finders keepers, he, he, he.
Floresco Halogi says
Libel committed on the printed and broadcasted media that you refer to have a shelf life. Especially the printed ones, as soon as it was read people do horrendous things to it like wrapping galonggong, sleep on it, cover the human carcass on the streets and some even use it to wipe after they shit. People might not even read the crime was committed against them and the issue dies as soon as people does horrendous thing to the papers.
Publications done on the internet on the other hand stays in the public domain forever. Even you pay huge amount for the online scrubber you cannot take down anything that was published, let alone updated. People are hounded by their past through this internet and have come to accept the fact that it has become a reality of modern life.
Would you rather not discover a crime against you at a later time and seek justice? We are now in a rapidly evolving society and laws needs to evolve as well. That is the reason why the law on age of criminal liability also changed. The only law in my mind that should not change is the ten commandments.
Oh c’mon. TWELVE YEARS?
Besides, your argument does not hold in Maria Ressa’s case.
uy, floresco halogi, yong 10 commandments is not law, and the bible is not law book, he, he, he, and priests and bishops are not lawmakers and they dont sit sa law exam.
transgress the 10 commandments and you get to be president! kill, kill, kill ang mantra.
ignorance is not excuse of the law, and if you know the complainant in ressa’s libel case (keng) santa maria! businessman keng is uber loaded, maraming holdings at malawak ang ari-arian, at presumably may maraming employees siya, hopefully not both pipi at bulag sila, may mga edukasyon at may mga pinag-aralan, mga kwalipikado, and maybe, there are lawyers and accountants among them, top of the game baga sila, how else is mr deng supposed to be on top of his game as well! he must have been schooled in economics, member of chambers of commerce and other business associations: knowledgeable; check him out in the internet and see for yourself who in the name of the blighted durian is the uber famous mr keng!
tama po si raissa. and if I may paraphrase the argument of floresco halogi, his argument is only good for wiping bottoms! he, he, he.
drill down says
Trump’s attacks on the First Amendment and the press gain an ally in Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas
regressing, making america worse
We think it’s only Goliath who can sue and put David in the corner against defamation?
Better look here in the US where a high school boy, the students and the school are fighting back against the Washington Post for maligning their name in the peaceful gathering of the students wearing maga hats and without any provocation from them was goaded by the Native American, event was picked up and televised by haters to depict them as the bad boys when in fact seeing the whole thing pictured a very different scenario.
This boy and the other students are starting a lawsuit against the newspaper because their future is at stake,; no colleges and universities would ever take them in ; maybe other potential scholars would never be given anything at all.
I am reading about our own scholars who are defamed by no other than the NYC Caderma publicly insinuating these students and scholars to be rebellious nearing to terrorist behavior.. He is very irresponsibly harming the youths by these unfounded accusations. just to earn pogi points. Does he have any proof that they are violent rebels and with terrorist tendencies and connections?
If there are pro bono lawyers there, take on this govt official and show him what libel and slander is so that others too would also be responsible about talking nonsense lightly.
This is the other side of the coin.
“The lawsuit accuses The Washington Post of targeting Sandmann “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ souvenir cap. Sandmann was on a school field trip when Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist, approaches the teen beating a drum in his face while chanting loudly. Phillips is the aggressor.
““In targeting and bullying Nicholas by falsely accusing him of instigating the January 18 incident, the Post conveyed that Nicholas engaged in acts of racism by “swarming” Phillips, “blocking” his exit away from the students, and otherwise engaging in racist misconduct,” the lawsuit continued. “The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump (“the President”) by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President.”
The Posts libelous actions in reporting a hate crime hoax will follow Sandmann all of his days. He will apply to colleges, only to be denied because of his conservative right-to-life politics. He will apply to jobs, only to have human resources determine he is an aggregator. When in fact he is a kid who stood still, respectfully, with embarrassment all over his face.”
Truly the truth is the weapon to lies.
drill down says
‘It’s dangerous’: New York Times publisher responds to Trump’s media rhetoric
“The phrase ‘enemy of the people’ is not just false, it’s dangerous,” Sulzberger wrote. “It has an ugly history of being wielded by dictators and tyrants who sought to control public information. And it is particularly reckless coming from someone whose office gives him broad powers to fight or imprison the nation’s enemies.”
“As I have repeatedly told President Trump face to face, there are mounting signs that this incendiary rhetoric is encouraging threats and violence against journalists at home and abroad,” Sulzberger wrote.
trump is building wall vs migrants, soon he’ll be building wall vs journalists. better still, trump will have estados unidos walled up to protect itself from both migrants and journalists, he, he, he.
estados unidos, the walled country from sea to shining sea.
Makati Business Club (MBC) expresses concern over Maria Ressa’s arrest
The MBC called on the administration to uphold press freedom following the arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa over a cyber libel case
“A brave and free press is an ally in the fight against corruption that we and the government espouse in order to encourage investment badly needed to generate employment and wealth creation that is truly inclusive.” the MBC said
The MBC is a non-stock, non-profit organization composed of senior executives of the country’s top corporation (more)
My comment would be a follow up on other sources in libel cases. We are in the modern age and TWITTER also has become very convenient and popular to express joy, praise, admiration and even hate to a certain person or company. Is there any provision in the Revised Penal Code regarding TWIBEL as in TWITTER defamation cases?
If there is , then the govt would be forced to entertain A DELUGE of serious cases of defamation in court.
Would this recent phishing open up a Pandora’s box of worms or treasures like a precedent on all wild and true cases of defamation/?
I believe reputation could be repaired, I am not commenting on this particular issue but truly I am all cheers that the whole world is casting attention( eye and mind) on the claimant et al for their interpretation of the law of libel and for whatever they were trying to clean up or corrected in the eyes of the public.
Proof? The million pesos expenses of the PCOO( WHATEVER) to explain this fiasco to the European Nation or is there any other wonderful hidden agenda, See, I said wonderful,
no violent reaction please :)
Anyway, THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS SAVE THE DAY IN A JUST COURT.. IF THERE IS.
Very productive info we have here . Thanks Raissa, Leona, the mama law queen of CPMERS.
That’s a thought, Netty. Many on Twitter have been tweeting what normally would be considered defamatory remarks. But if one is pro-Duterte, one gets a pass.
begging your pardon po, not all pro-duterte gets a pass. mocha uson has pending libel case, sinampahan siya ng kaso ni trillanes. jover of pinoy ako blog also has libel case filed vs a duterte diehard.
anyone po, slighted big time by duterte’s diehards and maligned by their fake news can file libel case, or retort in similar fashion, or hit back with the truth by calling off their fake news.
and our streets are getting a bit noisy with protests and more protests. so many not happy with mukhang uling and the way he governs, he, he, he.
ELMER says ‘Twilbel or TWIBELING’ under Twitter ‘will be’ covered by the DOJ Resolution, per ‘xxx other similar means’ phrase in R.A. No. 10175 as defamatory. The government will catch twilbellants very soon too!
Criminal cases in the caption part will be: ‘For: TWIBEL/LIBEL’ & ‘XXX Accused-Twibellant’ to know that it came from defamatory statements per TWITTER apps.
To tweet like a bird. Humans believes birds sings by tweeting. A frog croaks. A snake hiss. A horse neighing. XXX per other similar devices in the future xxx. Croakants Hissants Neighants ATBPA animals.
Nice new term – ‘TWIBEL’ netty!.
original yata niyan is birdbrain. so many humans infected and humming like birds na, so discordant, and there’s always the law. the money is on the beak!
eh? million of pesos gastos ng pcoo for libel info drive in europe? with that amount, I thought tuloy pcoo officials were secretly buying villas! and info drive is just a front, spend spend spend while they can. may open cheque book yata, the sky is not limit.
uhm, what does europe and pinas have in common? may parliament sila duon, may mga chancellors, prime ministers, may kings and queens pa like in holland, spain, uk, etc. so unlike to our form of govt.
and european laws is different to ours. dapat pcoo have info drive sa pinas mismo at hindi duon sa europe. maraming pinoys sa pinas ay walang alam sa libel laws, label laws? snub naman masyado ang pcoo, pulubi ang karamihan sa pinoys, less educated and badly in need of wisdom, guidance and info. the europeans are already oozing in wisdom and knowledge at advance sila sa technology at industry, baka magtaka sila kung bakit sila ang pinuntariya ng pcoo when it is pinas that badly needed the info.
nagkakalat ang pinoys! spreading filth in europe at namumulitika duon; washing our dirty linens in public. tweet!
netty‘s comments to xxx ‘a follow up on other sources in libel cases.. One case was that
of Louie Beltran in 1995 era, that reached the SC. One justice – RODRIGUEZ, JR., concurred but disagreed somewhere in the majority Opinion of the Court. He told of the CHILLING EFFECT in libel.
He said about ‘Publishers and Editors’ should get a ‘differentiated’ approach from that of a columnist:
‘Shunting aside the individual liability of Mr. Luis Beltran, is there a prima facie showing that Messrs. Maximo Soliven, Antonio V. Roces, Frederick K. Agcaoili, and Godofredo L. Manzanas knowingly participated in a wilful purveying of falsehood? Considering the free speech aspects of these petitions, should not a differentiated approach to their particular liabilities be taken instead of lumping up everybody with the offending columnist? I realize that the law includes publishers and editors but perhaps the “chilling effect” issue applies with singular effectivity to publishers and editors vis-a-vis newspaper columnists.’
He commented that it was due time for Court to consider making a ruling the ‘chilling effect’ in libel cases against ‘publishers and editors’ in the Beltran case. He posed a question:
Will not a criminal prosecution in the type of case now before us dampen the vigor and limit the variety of public debate?
concerning the role of prosecutors and judges – our fiscals and judges are courageous individuals who would not allow any considerations of possible consequences to their careers to stand in the way of public duty.
asking these questions for a SC ruling:
1.) why should we subject them to this problem?
2.) And why should we allow the possibility of the trial court treating and deciding the case as one for ordinary libel without bothering to fully explore the more important areas of concern, the extremely difficult issues involving government power and freedom of expression.[?]
Government power vs. freedom of expression was deferred to a later day – to another case in the future.
In short, J. Rodriguez, Jr., preferred that ‘publishers and editors’ fate should be fully explored before filing and including them as respondents/accused in libel cases without bothering to whether to lumping up everybody with the offending columnist?.
Indeed, why lump up publishers and editors with the offending columnist? But, from Maria Ressa of RAPPLER libel case, it concretely lapooned even the idea of Libel’s prescriptive period to 12 years after publication instead of 1 or 2 years under amending laws on libel.
Lapooning bigly like Moby Dick the white whale, to do a whaling in libel cases.
Louie Beltran case
HA HA…not ‘lapooning’ but harpooning…I got lumps! Sorry for today’s blundering.
I have heard po of ‘vicarious liability’ being talked about where the big one, the editor/publisher, is targeted instead of the columnist. it all about money: the columnist cannot pay as much retribution as the publisher, so why go after the small fry (columnist) when they can go after the bigger fry (publisher) and get more money in return? and do more damage as well.
out on bail si ressa ngayon at may mg kasong pending pa. someone is being viciously vicarious against ressa, and wants to do her more damage.
What do I think? I think definitely at first that the Resolution of the DOJ on Maria Ressa’s alleged libel did not support a prescriptive or LAPSE period on libel even by quoting R.A. No. 10175. What the RESOLUTION only said, which is a questionable interpretation of latter stated law, goes as this:
x x x The offense charged has not
prescribed. Under R.A. No. 10175, if
libel is committed by, through and with
use of information and communication
technologies, the nature of the crime and
the use of information technologies
qualifies it to cyber-libel.
The penalty for libel is
prison correcional in its minimum
and medium periods, or six (6)
months and one (1) day to four
(4) years and two (2) months
(Art. 355, Revised Penal Code).
x x x the penalty is raised to one
degree higher as prescribed under
Section 6 of R.A. No. 10175. xxx
which governs the prescription
of offenses xxx the prescriptive period of
the offense charges is twelve (12) years
(Sec. 1(d), R.A. No. 3326, as amended.
Clearly, the 19 February 2014
publication <has not prescribed.’ Pp. 6-7 Resolution.
The quoted portion above of the Resolution
does not definitely and supportably give
that even under R.A. No. 10175, libel has
a prescriptive period of twelve (12) years.
The Resolution only says that it has such
an opinion a period of twelve (12) years which is an interpretation but without quoting a law provision on a prescriptive period on Libel.
Thus, delving into such doubtful if not erroneous interpretation or opinion on
R.A. No. 10175 that Libel prescribes after
twelve (12) years, imprisonment for libel
at twelve (12) years tantamount to a
harsh, cruel and immoral law under
R.A. No. 10175. In short, R.A. No. 10175
does not provide a definite prescriptive or ‘lapse’ period on the
crimes of ‘Libel or similar acts.’
Let us also ‘think’ about SLANDER crime
under the Revised Penal Code, as amended.
It provides a penalty of arresto mayor
in its maximum period to prison correcional
in its minimum period if it is of a serious
and insulting nature xxx. (Art. 358,
RPC.) Does this crime also prescribe after
twelve (12) years under the opinion or
interpretation given in the Resolution of
the DOJ? Because 1 degree higher on the
penalty would be prison correcional
medium period to prison correcional maximum period – 2 years 4 months
1 day to 6 years? Again, for the crimes
of Slander, such a penalty would be harsh,
cruel and immoral. In all such opinionated\or
interpretation under such a Resolution
tantamount to being unconstitutional in
violation of the 1987 Constitution under
x x x ‘1. Excessive fines shall not be imposed, nor cruel,
degrading or inhuman punishment inflicted.
Neither shall death penalty be imposed,
unless, for compelling reasons involving heinous crimes xxx’
(Art. III Bill of Right)
I think further, that for libel and slander crimes to have
prescriptive periods of twelve (12) years and imprisonment
under such ‘1 degree higher’ on the penalties, respectively,
is unacceptable under the Bill of Right of the Constitution.
Thank you Raissa Robles. Another very good article that
makes thinking productive.
BTW, who slanders who, and be
imprisoned for a maxi of 6 years
the prescriptive or lapse period,
under (4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited
acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code,
under the phrase x x x or any similar means x x x.
as provided in R.A. No. 10175 Section 4:
‘(4) Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.‘
‘similar means devised in the future’ – a caricature depicting
slapping an identified someone so insultingly and such is
published with the use of cyber-Internet for everybody to see.
They say ‘A Picture Is Better Than A Thousand Words’.
Thank you for your insights, Leona.
Louie Beltran libel case