With the issue of Internet freedom rising to various parts of the globe, I am perplexed with how this issue has escalated in the Philippines. The Philippines, with all its modern associations to kleptocracy and the like, was once a democratic haven. This country has stood on the principles of democracy and freedom, enabling it to claim independence from multiple adversaries such as the Spanish and the Americans.
In a country where “democracy” is the foundation for governance, I find it incoherently futile for lawmakers and politicians to produce such an unconstitutional and inhumane law. This law takes away the right of the citizens to express freedom of expression through the medium of the Internet. In a democracy, governing forces should not be able to hinder the freedom of its citizens. Furthermore, this denies the country’s constituents a basic human right. This country was established on the idea of freedom, has prevailed because of freedom, and will only continue to prevail with freedom.
While it is indeed of fact that laws are subject to interpretation, as such laws can be misconstrued because of a variance of viewpoints. However, with the lack of a more limpid grasp of the sections that constitute this law, how will lawyers, politicians, and the citizens of this country respond to R.A. 10175? Sections 4 and 5 seem to be the most open-ended, and at the most part could be extended to make the most inconsequential actions viable to monumental judicial proceedings. It’s also mind-numbingly frightening to think that a simple Facebook like or twitter re-tweet could consequentially land an individual, to the most certain extent, 12 years of prison.
I could go on and on about the issues of freedom, democracy, and government policy yet it could not make much more of a difference. However, I do want to pose a point. In the words of former president John F. Kennedy: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country”. This issue is not the same caliber of some “half-assed” video addressed to increase “social awareness” and would gladly tuck the substance beneath the sheets after a few months. No. This issue is of monumental importance to the Philippine nation as a whole. This issue pertains to all of us, the individuals that inhabit this country. It stays, as long as the law is implemented. It is your choice as an individual to be passive, or to rise against this issue. However, if you wish to continue it mustn’t stop at the rather simplistic view of “hurr durr I don’t like this hurr durr”, yet it must branch out to create a unified voice seeking out the improvement of this country. This is what this country was founded upon, and this country will only continue to prosper in this notion.