Online sex video is cybercrime 'test case'

Posted at 10/10/2012 4:23 PM | Updated as of 10/10/2012 10:25 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The first case filed under the halted Cybercrime Prevention Act will still be resolved via other relevant laws, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said.

The justice chief she has already tapped the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into the complaint filed by a 17-year-old girl seeking to stop the circulation of a sex video that has been on the Internet for two years now.

The complaint was filed via electronic mail on October 3, the first day of the law’s implementation. Acting on 15 petitions against the law, the Supreme Court on October 9 issued a 120-day halt order.

De Lima assured the case will prosper since the NBI, backed by other laws, can still request websites to remove the video.

"The NBI may act on this case perhaps under anti-photo and video voyeurism act or R.A. 9995. The victim is a minor, so can you imagine the anguish, anxiety and humiliation she went through because of that? We need to preserve human dignity," she explained in a chance interview.

R.A. 9995 imposes the penalty of three to seven years of imprisonment and a fine of P100,000 to P500,000 against a person found guilty of voyeurism.

Nonetheless, de Lima said they will continue accepting complaints falling under the new law for evaluation purposes.

"If the complainants insist that we act, we will ask them to excuse us and explain to them that the cybercrime law is not in effect. But we will evaluate the complaints and see if other laws may be applied," she said.

Info campaign for new law

Meanwhile, the DOJ will halt the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations for the Anti-Cybercrime Bill.

Still, a mass information campaign on the new law will proceed in order to raise public awareness and address the public’s concerns, she said.

"Normally TRO would encompass the implementation of the entire law. The IRR is put on hold but the advocacy is not covered, so it will proceed. We will still undertake awareness raising campaign to educate the people on the salient features of the law and to explain to them that there is nothing to worry in the implementation of the law.”

She added they will now start preparing their answers to the consolidated petitions filed by lawmakers, lawyers, journalists, bloggers and other groups in the SC.