UPDATE: Full text of the January 24 Senate Journal where Sotto inserted the libel provision. Also, complete authors from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.
UPDATE No. 2, 10/3/12: Malacañang released For the Record: Public records of Senate Deliberations on the Cybercrime Prevention Bill.
House Bill 5808
Main author: Yap, Susan A.
Singson, Eric Jr. Gacula; Herrera-Dy, Bernadette Ramirez; Teodoro, Marcelino Reyes; Macapagal-Arroyo, Gloria A. Macaraeg; Arroyo, Diosdado Jm Macapagal; Angara, Juan Edgardo Manalang; Golez, Anthony Rolando Jr. Torrillo; Lazatin, Carmelo Feliciano; Rodriguez, Rufus Bautista; Rodriguez, Maximo Jr. B.; Velarde, Mariano Michael Jr. M.; Tieng, Irwin C.; Acop, Romeo Macusi; Del Rosario, Antonio Andrada; Macapagal-Arroyo, Juan Miguel “Mikey”; Calimbas-Villarosa, Ma. Amelita A.; Castelo, Winston “Winnie”; Magsaysay, Eulogio “Amang” R.; Tinga, Sigfrido R.; Golez, Roilo Solis; Quimbo, Romero Federico ‘Miro’ S.; Sarmiento, Mel Senen Sevilla; Sarmiento, Cesar Vergara; Abayon, Daryl Grace J; Apacible, Tomas Villadolid; Treñas, Jerry Perez; Violago, Joseph Gilbert Francisco; Mandanas, Hermilando Ingco; Arenas, Ma. Rachel Jimenez; Sy-Alvarado, Ma. Victoria R.; Villafuerte, Luis Robredo; Romualdo, Pedro Palarca; Loyola, Roy Maulanin; Cajayon, Mary Mitzi Lim
Senate Bill 2796
Filed on May 3, 2011 by Trillanes, Antonio “Sonny” F., Angara, Edgardo J., Enrile, Juan Ponce, Ejercito-Estrada, Jinggoy P., Lapid, Manuel “Lito” M., Villar, Manny B., Defensor Santiago, Miriam, Marcos, Ferdinand “Bongbong” R., Revilla Jr., Ramon A., Legarda, Loren B.
THE SOTTO AMENDMENT
As culled from the January 24, 2012 Senate Journal
Preliminarily, Senator Sotto stated that there are numerous abuses in technology, particularly the video and photo uploading and unnecessary write-ups and comments in social networking systems. He read the definition of libel in Mendez vs. Court of Appeals (OR No. 124491, June I, 1999), to wit:
… a public and malicious imputation ofa crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to discredit or cause the dishonor or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.
Thus, the elements of libel are: (a) imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; (b) publication of the imputation; (c) identity of the person defamed; and, (d) existence of malice.
Senator Sotto further cited the ruling in Laesa vs. Intermediate Appellate Court (161 SCRA 427) which states that: Words calculated to induce suspicion are sometimes more effective to destroy reputation than false charges directly made. Ironical and metaphorical language is a favored vehicle for slander. A charge is sufficient if the words are calculated to induce the hearers to suppose and understand that the person or persons against whom they were uttered were guilty of certain offenses, or are sufficient to impeach their honesty, virtue, or reputation, or to hold the person or persons up to public ridicule.
Further, Senator Sotto observed that the publication requirement in the crime of libel can be achieved by the mere fact that it is seen in cyber-space and this can fUlther promote the habit of “think before you click.” It is clear, he noted, that cybercrimes are not covered under Article 355 of Revised Penal Code.
On page 6, line 37, as proposed by Senator Sotto and accepted by the Sponsor, there being no objection, the Body approved the insertion of a new paragraph, to wit:
4. LIBEL – THE UNLAWFUL OR PROHIBITED ACTS OF LIBEL AS DEFINED IN ARTICLE 355 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE COMMITTED THROUGH A COMPUTER SYSTEM OR ANY OTHER SIMILAR MEANS WHICH MAYBE DEVISED IN THE FUTURE.
Senator Angara pointed out that cyberspace is just a new avenue for publicizing or communicating a libelous statement which is subject to prosecution and punishment as defined by the Revised Penal Code.
TERMINATION OF THE PERIOD OF INDIVIDUAL AMENDMENTS
There being no other individual amendment, upon motion of Senator Sotto, there being no objection, the Body closed the period of individual amendments.
APPROVAL OF SENATE BILL NO. 2796 ON SECOND READING
Submitted to a vote, there being no objection, Senate Bill No. 2796 was approved on Second Reading.
SUSPENSION OF CONSIDERATION OF SENATE BILL NO. 2796
Upon motion of Senator Sotto, there being no objection, the Body suspended consideration of the bill.
Senator Sotto manifested that Senator Villar had asked to be made coauthor of Senate Bill Nos. 455 and 3060.
Here is the full text of the Januray 24, 2012 Senate Journal (Sotto amendment on page 880):
Republic Act 10175
Approved: September 12, 2012
Signed by Benigno S. Aquino III