MANILA, Philippines — Two days before the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, a group of armed men from the newly created Investigative Division on Internet Offenses Taskforce (IDIOT) stormed the office of ‘So, What’s News?’ led by Senior Inspector John Makiling.
Armed with high caliber firearms and a search warrant issued by Manila Regional Trail Court (RTC) Judge Inosencio Mae Saladin, the officers confiscated materials and personal effects that they deemed were in violation of the recently signed Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act by President Bengino Aquiono III.
(The bill)… includes provisions penalizing libel committed online.
Among the offenses punishable under the new Cybercrime law as enumerated in Chapter II of Republic Act No. 10175 include cybersex, child pornography, cybersquatting and identity theft, spamming or unsolicited commercial communication, computer-related forgery, illegal access to a computer system and/or illegal interception of data, data interference, including intentional alteration or damaging of data; system interference, including damaging or altering computer data or programs as well as the use of viruses, the misuse of devices; and the use, production, sale, procurement, importation, distribution or making available without right of malware, passwords or codes.
Violators could face a punishment of prison mayor or reclusion temporal and/or a fine (between P200,000 to P1,000,000) depending on the offense as stated under the new law. (from Interaksyon)
Arrested were two individuals who were coincidentally present at the SWN office at the time of the IDIOT’s raid. The suspects were either on official business or just friends visiting. At the request of their anonymity, their names are withheld or are given aliases.
Junjun, an acquaintance of this author, was sending his wife kinky messages using his laptop when authorities swooped in, took his phone and ordered him to kneel on the ground with both arms behind his head.
“I was trying to explain to them that it was our anniversary, and was gonna celebrate tonight,” narrated Junjun. “But they wouldn’t listen!”
“They kept shouting ‘Cybersex! Cybersex! Hulihin yang manyakis na yan (Catch that pervert)!’ while pointing their guns at me.”
Scared for his life, Junjun had no choice but to cooperate with the authorities.
Patricio, a blogger friend who was passing time browsing the internet when according to him, the strangest thing happened.
“Nagpapalipas lang ako ng oras na yun eh, kausap ko si SimSimi. May tinanong lang ako sa kanya at sa isang iglap, ayun nagdatingan na yung mga pulis (I was passing the time, and was talking with SimSimi. I only asked a question, and in a blink of an eye, the police came)!”
Similar to Junjun’s, the authorities started shouting, “Libel! Libel! Hulihin yang p*%@^%in@ng blogger na yan (Arrest that motherfuckin’ blogger)!”
The authorities even showed him a printout of their conversation and told him that it will be used as evidence against him.
An officer allegedly shouted at Patricio, yelling, “Akala mo sino ka, blogger ka lang (Who do you think you are? You’re just a blogger)!”
When asked to justify their actions, Senior Inspector Makiling said that as per RA 10175, Junjun was in clear violation of Section 4, Article C, Paragraph 1 or Cybersex.
“He was telling his wife that he had planned something special for their anniversary celebration tonight, and was telling her in intricate details on what he will do to her.”
To which according to Makiling, his wife replied, “My insides practically contort with potent, needy, liquid, desire.“
“Malinaw na nagsa-cybersex sila diba (Clearly they were engaging in cybersex, am I right)?”
As for Patricio’s case, Makiling cautioned netizens on what they say online.
“You might think na ang kausap nyo ay isang bilog at dilaw na robot. Pero sa katunayan, agent na pala ng gobyerno yan (You might think that what you are talking to is a round, yellow robot. But in reality, it is already an agent of the government)!”