Where are you going?
(Courtesy of apgovernment2010.yolasite.com)
The past few days have been all about R.A. 10175, otherwise known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. Since some of the legislators who approved this bill are rushing to amend it, and given the overwhelming reaction of the public - a negative one, in case this needs to be spelled out - on top of the fact that the United Nations has declared internet freedom a basic human right, and add to that the many lawyers/groups who have gone to the Supreme Court to address this, we can safely assume that this bill was not fleshed out thoroughly.
And since the President has signed this, it's now a law, not just a bill.
What astonished many people - myself included - was the ease and speed by which this bill was approved. The only conclusion any rational person can come up with is that if there is political will, it can be done. If the legislators want to approve something, they can do it - see how quickly this bill was sent to the President for his signature.
So, may we direct your attention to these bills? And we ask that you act on them with the same swiftness and ferocity that you rushed the Cybercrime Prevention Act by us. Napabilib nyo kami sa bilis nyo, sana ganito din kayo sa mga ito.
1. REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL
This bill has not just been languishing in Congress for more than a decade, it's set up house, is done watching Home Along The Riles and has moved on to Korea-novelas, and has its feet up on the couch, with the rollers permanently glued in its hair.
How can we say this with finesse...oh, right: VOTE ON IT ALREADY!
Both sides have kicked around this political football, or more appropriately for us, dribbled this political basketball back and forth, with no one ever sinking a basket. Stop the period of amendments already. We, the citizens, are tired of it. What we want is an answer. Yes or no. Approve it or discard it.
Stop airing your grievances in public, wringing out sympathy, and whatnot. Desist from making veiled utterances like "at its current state, it won't have a chance of being approved" and...what's the phrase again...oh yes: VOTE ON IT ALREADY!
Let the record show who voted for and against it, as well as why.
Do this NOW so the people will judge you come election day.
You have NO REASON to delay this, given how fast you approved the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
2. FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL
What we, the citizens of a democratic country, want is accountability from our public officials. The only way we can ensure this is if government transactions and records are available to the public for scrutiny and review.
It may be time for a social science lesson: in a democracy, the power lies in its citizens, not public officials, who are also called public servants. So it makes sense that when the boss (that's us) gives you money (our taxes/your salary) to do a job (file bills), we have the right to know what it is you've been doing, yes?
Unless you want to contest this basic structure of democracy?
This bill will make it easier to see who's been sleeping on the job, or worse, stealing from public coffers or tampering anything illegally.
This bill is the one we want. We did not ask for a bill that will stifle our right to speak.
In case that wasn't clear, we are making it exceedingly crystal clear now.
While we're at this, here's one thing we also want to ask:
Did you know that political dynasties are PROHIBITED by our Constitution? Eto ang nakasulat:
"The State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined by law." (Section 26, Article II, 1987 Philippine Constitution)
If our law still hasn't defined it since 1987, can we do it now, ASAP?
We ask these questions because of the lineup being offered by "parties" - the quotes are used to distinguish it from the political parties in places like the USA, where these are anchored by issues and not personalities or name recognition - which seem to suggest that there is no such "thing" in our Constitution.
What will it take for this prohibition to be actualized in real life?
Nagtatanong lang po.