Tag Archives: free expression

Article 133 Revised Penal Code #DAMASO


Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative 3.0 Philippine license.


I. Introduction
II. Article 133 as a crime against the Fundamental Laws of the State
III. Religious Freedom
    A. Provision(s) on the religious clauses
    B. Provision(s) on the Separation of Church and State
    C. Jurisprudence
IV. Discussion on Article 133 RPC
    A. Article 133, Act 3815 [1930]: Offending the religious feelings (Ofensa a los sentimientos religiosos)
    B. Is Article 133 RPC still operative?
        1. The end of theocracy at the advent of American colonization
        2. Origin of Article 133 RPC
            a. El Código Penal de 1870 (Spain)
            b. Penal Code of 1884 (Philippine Islands)
        3. Articles 233 and 571 of the Penal Code of 1884 in relation to the 1930 Revised Penal Code
        4. Reenactment of previously inoperative provisions of the Penal Code of 1884, through Articles 131 and 132 RPC
    C. Should “Crimes against religious worship” even be in Philippine penal statutes?
    D. Could Freedom of Speech be claimed as a defense for violation of a subsisting penal provision?
    E. Has Article 133 been challenged for its constitutionality?
    F. Are the elements of Article 133, without doubt, present?
        1. Elements of Article 133 RPC
            a. Acts complained of were performed in a place devoted to religious worship or during the celebration of any religious ceremony
                i. Place devoted to religious worship
                ii. During the celebration of any religious ceremony
                iii. Alternative scenarios in the clauses of the first element
            b. Act was notoriously offensive to the religious feelings of the faithful
                i. Notoriously offensive
                ii. Religious feelings of the faithful
    G. Act punishable under Article 133 RPC or under some other RPC provision?
        1. Acts not within purview of Article 133 RPC
        2. Was the act really punishable under Article 133 RPC?
V. Miscellaneous Issues
    A. Priests and Article 133 RPC
    B. Church interference on political matters
    C. Personal matters


I. Introduction

I cannot speak for or against the decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila [1] relating to the case of Carlos Celdran, who was found guilty of offending religious feeling under Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), or Act 3815 [1930], on 28 January 2013, as it is an ongoing case. [2] [3] I can only look into legal precepts which may be relevant in appreciating the controversy. [4], and maybe stray once in a while on political matters incidental to the controversy.

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2 October 2012 Blackout

On 2 October 2012, Philippine netizens who are opposed to the Cybercrime Law started to censor their comments in Facebook and Twitter, and use black images as profile pictures therein, as a form of protest. I cannot blackout this blog since I am not under paid hosting. In lieu thereof, this is what I wish to say on the matter:

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Republic Act 10175: Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012


Licensed under CC Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivative 3.0 Philippine license.


I. Introduction
    > Past proposals for an Anti-CyberCrime Law
II. Offenses under RA 10175
    > Child pornography under RA 9775, viz Section 4(c)(2) of RA 10175
    > Section 33 (a) of RA 8792, viz Section 4(a)(1) to (5) of RA 10175
    > New offenses under RA 10175
    > Other offenses under Section 5, RA 10175
    > Applicability to other penal laws, when crime committed using ICT, under Section 6, RA 10175
III. Contentious issue: Libel viz Freedom of Expression
    > Libel under Chapter 1, Title XIII of the Revised Penal Code (Act 3815 [RPC], 8 December 1930)
    > Libel under Section 4(c)(4), RA 10175
    > Freedom of Expression viz libel
    > Doctrine of privileged communication
    > ICCPR and General Comment No. 34
IV. Contentious issue: Privacy
    > Right to privacy
    > Section 12 to 17, RA 10175
    > Privacy in relation to Section 12, RA 10175
    > International Cooperation
V. Jurisdiction
VI. Admissibility of Evidence
VII. Takedowns
VIII. Conclusion


I
Introduction

There has been a lot of discussions observed days subsequent to the promulgation of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, on 12 September 2012. There are some who assail the law to be unconstitutional as it acts as a prior restraint to freedom of speech, or that it provides undue expanded interference of private activities in the Internet by the Philippine Government, among others. Let me form my opinion herein, without providing legal advice, regarding the present law in its final form.

Past proposals for an Anti-CyberCrime Law

The Anti-Cybercrime law was not a recent proposal. Prior versions have been introduced in previous Congresses but which have been archived when the previous Congresses adjourned, including the 14th Congress. It appears that prior versions were being pushed to meet (1) the urgency to penalize child pornography; (2) rectify the perceived weakness of provision(s) on computer-related crimes in Republic Act 8792, or the Electronic Commerce Act (2000); (3) the necessity of expanding the coverage of the applicability of electronic documents, or ITC-enable acts, to criminal/penal laws, especially those in the Revised Penal Code, where documents, or in which a computer may be used in the commission thereof, are involved; (4) the necessity to provide an efficient legal procedure/allowance in the acquisition of evidence by government agencies when crimes are being committed, or have been committed, through electronic means; and (5) arrangement towards international cooperation, as acts may be transnational.

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