Was Senator Sotto lying?

Posted at 09/23/2012 6:13 PM

This question is being asked of me ever since newspaper reports came out that Senator Vicente Sotto III denied Friday that he was the lawmaker who had inserted the libel clause in the Cybercrime Prevention Act (Republic Act 10175).

One commenter name @Anton bluntly asked me:

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III denied that he was the one behind the insertion of a libel clause in the new anti-cybercrime law, at a Press Media Week forum in Cebu City Friday. So, what happened to the admission of Sotto’s chief of staff Villacorta that it was Senator Sotto who inserted libel as a ‘content-related offense’ in Republic Act No. 10175 (the Cybercrime Law)? Who’s lying again?

My answer requires a somewhat lengthy explanation. After reading it, I think you can come to the conclusion yourself whether Senator Sotto lied to journalists in Cebu.

To start, I would speculate that Senator Sotto is banking on the fact that people don’t understand how the Senate records the lawmakers’ actions almost every step of the way.