Binay backs online libel but rejects jail term

Posted at 02/25/14 9:48 PM

MANILA -- Vice-President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday said he supports the Supreme Court decision upholding libel on the internet, but rejected prison as punishment for offenders.

Binay, in press statement, expressed hope that libel would be decriminalized, but said freedom of expression should be balanced.

Binay, in agreeing with the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of the online libel provision in the Cybercrime Prevention Act, said there should be restraint and accountability.

"You cannot just allow defamation to continue without accountability. But it should not be a criminal offense," he said.

According to Binay, people can bash others in social media but measures must be introduced to make accountable those who use the medium to spread malicious statements.

Binay, during the commemoration of the 28th anniversary of the EDSA Revolution held at the People Power Monument, said social media is sometimes used to spread black propaganda.

"There are constraints, parameters [to freedom of expression.] You can't simply defame one's person on a whim," he said.