Supreme Court TRO vs. Cybercrime Law

Fifteen petitions and dozens of offline and online protests since it was enacted on September 12, the controversial Cybercrime Law today found itself subject to a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) from the Supreme Court.

Here’s an overview of the high court’s decision.

According to the TRO, the High Court consolidated the 15 petitions and is now requiring for the respondents to comment on the petition before the Office of the Solicitor General within 10 days.

The respondents include:

Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III– Office of the President
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr.
Senate of the Philippines
House of Representatives
Sec. Florencio Abad of the Department of Budget and Management
Sec. Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)
The law enforcers according to RA 10175:
Sec. Leila de Lima of the Department of Justice
Sec. Manuel Roxas III of the Department of Interior and Local Government
Exec. Dir. Louis Napoleon Casambre of the Information and Communications Technology Office-DOST
Dir. Nonnatus Caesar Rojas of the National Bureau of Investigation
Chief Nicanor Bartolome of the Philippine National Police

The court ruling also set the date of oral arguments on Jan. 15, 2013, Tuesday.

The TRO is also effective for 120 days or four months.

University of the Philippines law professor Theodore Te said in his Facebook account, “(I)t is time bound–four months (roughly 120 days)–indicates that there is a signal being sent; perhaps to Congress (amend quickly, i.e., before January 15, 2013) or perhaps to the Executive (same message but with a slight nuance–certify amendments as urgent).”

The Court also decided unanimously. Te said, “That it is unanimous is a recognition that the SC acknowledges the importance of the issues.”

This TRO is considered the first major decision under the new Sereno Court.

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