After admitting that he was the one who inserted the libel clause in the controversial Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III is now saying that he is planning to file a bill seeking to abolish libel altogether.
“Gusto nila magpa-file naman ako ng bill, alisin na natin ang libel para pwede ko na rin silang murahin,” Sotto was quoted as saying in a radio interview in an article on Inquirer.net. “Pwede, alisin natin para parehas na ang laban. Maganda yan, pag-aaralan ko 'yan hanggang Lunes (If they want, I will file a bill to remove libel so I can also engage them in mudslinging. We can remove that to have a fair play. That’s a good idea. I will study that until Monday.).”
“Alisin na natin ang gag sa masamang broadcast, sa radyo, sa TV. Kung malaya sa Internet, pwede silang mambastos, mambaboy… gawin na din natin sa media. Kailangan pare-parehas (Let’s remove the gag on bad broadcast, on radio, on TV. If people are free to harass and to be rude on the Internet… Let’s also do that in media. It has to be even),” he added.
Sotto was apparently serious about his proposal, believing that such a measure would allow those who are being criticized to fire back at their critics. A few weeks ago, the senator was harshly criticized online for plagiarizing contents of his anti-Reproductive Health Bill speeches.
“Hindi na decriminalizing, removing,” he said. “Magda-draft ako in the next few days (We will no longer decriminalize libel, we will remove it altogether. I will make a draft in the next few days.).”
“Gusto nilang i-criticize ako, e di i-criticize ako nila ako basta huwag lang libelous. Huwag lang 'yung nambabastos , nambababoy kung tawagin below the belt kasi kung gusto nila ng ganun, pwede din ako 'dun (If they want to criticize me, then they can do so as long they it’s not libelous. As long as they’re not being uncouth, because if they want to be like that, I can do that too),” he added.
(Photo courtesy of PEP.ph)