MANILA - Senator Ralph Recto described Congress’ IQ – or ICT quotient – as low.
“Despite our image as IPad-toting, Facebook-sharing, selfie-taking, Candy Crush-playing class, there is still a deficit of knowledge when it comes to ICT rule-making,” he said.
As the Senate tackles anew the Cybercrime Prevention Act and corresponding bills decriminalizing libel, Recto promised that everyone’s opinion will be heard.
“To those who are not here, but are watching the hearing, on whatever media, rest assured, we will trawl discussion forums, harvest tweets, look into social media chatter and feedback for opinions that will help us in crafting legislation,” he said during his opening remarks on the Senate inquiry on Monday.
“I cannot promise you lawmaking by flash mob, kasi imposible po yun, kasi sa takdang oras dalawampu’t apat na mga indibidwal lamang ang magpapasiya pero makakatiyak po kayo na batid nila ang inyong saloobin,” he added.
He said “crowdsourcing” would allow the Senate to polish laws “with rough edges.”
He said this mode of lawmaking is apt especially with the issue at hand.
“To those who fear that decriminalizing libel would make defamation a national sport, I say that there remains other means to penalize slurs and smears,” Recto said.
He said there remains a shield for those assaulted by harsh criticisms.
“We need these safeguards because one of the best apps of civilized society are laws which allow a private individual robbed of honor to seek restitution,” he said.
“However, that is just one senator’s opinion on libel, and I dare not guess that it is the majority sentiment at the moment. Others may have a different take, and I could only respect and even welcome those who would offer contrarian views,” he said.