Printer Friendly

Philippines : Solons want to increase fines for libel.

Lawmakers today moved to decriminalize libel by abolishing the penalty of imprisonment provision under the Revised Penal Code.

Instead, Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez (Party-list, Abante Mindanao) filed House Bill 2562 increasing the fines for violators from the present P6,000 to P30,000.

"Although this bill abolishes the penalty of imprisonment, it has increased the amount from the present maximum of P6,000 to the maximum of P30,000, to accomplish the purpose of penalizing libel and deterring would be violators," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said the present law on libel infringes on the freedom of speech and of expression and negatively impacts on media practitioners.

"We cannot have that libel law in a country where democracy is primarily infringed on the freedom of speech and of expression, and where media is considered the Fourth Estate," Rodriguez said.

Libel is defined under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code as "a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause dishonour, discredit or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead."

Rodriguez said Under the law, one is liable for libel when there is an allegation of a discreditable act or condition concerning another, publication of the charge, identity of the person defamed and the existence of malice.

The current law provides that a person guilty of committing libel is penalized with imprisonment ranging from arresto mayor or one month and one day to 6 months, to prision correccional or 6 months and one day to six years, aside from the fine ranging from P200 to P6,000.

"While the penalty of fine must be sustained, for no crime should go unpunished, imposing a penalty of imprisonment will work more to discourage members of the media from performing their duties with zeal and vigilance," Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez said a libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means shall be punished by a fine ranging from P10,000 to P30,000, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

The crime of libel and the corresponding penalty imposed above shall be prescribed in six months counted from the date of the first publication, airing or exhibition of the libellous material.

Likewise, the bill provides that the penalty of a fine ranging from P5,000 to P15,000 shall be imposed upon any person who threatens another to publish a libel concerning him or the parents, spouse, child, or other members of the family of the latter, or upon anyone who shall offer to prevent the publication of such libel for a compensation or money consideration.

2013 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)

Provided by Syndigate.info an Albawaba.com company
COPYRIGHT 2013 Al Bawaba (Middle East) Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 10, 2013
Words:489
Previous Article:Philippines : Women leaders champion the call for integrity in governance.
Next Article:Philippines : AIRASIA to invest $100m in ZEST AIRWAYS.
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters