CPP joins protests against Aquino's E-Martial Law

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
October 04, 2012

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and all revolutionary forces in the country support the groundswell of protests against the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, signed by Benigno Aquino III last September 12. It went into effect yesterday after the Supreme Court denied Tuesday petitions for a temporary restraining order filed by oppositors questioning the law's constitutionality.

"All freedom-loving Filipinos should unite and oppose Aquino's cybercrime law. A broad range of forces have initiated an online petition, questioned the constitutionality of the law before the Supreme Court and launched campus and street protests," said the CPP. "In launching these protest actions against the cybercrime law, the Filipino people can build a strong movement for civil liberties and privacy rights congruent with their struggle to defend the people's human rights."

"Aquino's cybercrime law is a draconian measure against internet privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and is reminiscent of the days of martial law repression," said the CPP. "It is aptly referred to as an e-martial law policy against online dissent and protest which can be used at any point by the ruling government against its critics and political opponents."

"Assurances by Aquino's officials that the cybercrime law will not be abused are useless as it already puts into place the framework for impunity," said the CPP. "It is a virtual Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of bloggers, opinion writers, activists and the rest of the online community."

"By including libel in acts punishable by the cybercrime law, Aquino has added another weapon to his legal arsenal against cyber activism, revealing his regime's intolerance to media criticism and online ridicule, to which it has been repeatedly subjected by the online community," said the CPP. "Aquino publicly encourages online interaction only as long it favors him and his government's official propaganda line, but turns off comments on his Facebook account when faced with a barrage of criticism."

"Faced with growing criticism, dissent and resistance, the Aquino regime is bound to use the cybercrime law as a tool of suppression against the Filipino online community, to shut down websites or block access to blogs or social networking accounts that do not conform to its standards of proper online conduct."

"With the cybercrime law's provisions for collecting electronic data, Aquino's police and military forces now have formal authority to conduct surveillance of telecommunications devices such as cellphones, computers, tablets, broadband gadgets and monitor email and other internet traffic. This can now be done all-encompassingly, legally and with impunity, broadening its coverage to any and all users of the internet and cellular networks," said the CPP.

The CPP noted that even before the cybercrime law was enacted, the military and police organizations, with the full cooperation of telecommunications networks, had already been conducting electronic data collection and surveillance of cellular and network traffic not only against criminals, but against political opponents of the ruling government.

Aquino's cybercrime law dovetails perfectly with the US government's gigantic data harvesting efforts under the Echelon program being conducted by the CIA, the Pentagon and its various police departments. The program lies beyond prevailing American and international legal and moral parameters and is in violation of universally accepted privacy rights.