REPUBLIC OF THE PHIUPPINES SUPREME COURT

MAMI,A

PHIIJPPINE Bfi,R ASSOCTATION,

rNc.,
Petitioner,

- yersus -

G.R. No.

HIS EXCELI.ENCY BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, in his official capacity
Philippines; HON. PAQUITO
N.

as President of the Republic of the

OCHOA, fR., in his oflicial capacity as Executive Secretary; HON. LEIITA, M. DE LIMA, in her oflicial capacity as Secretary of Justice; LOUIS NAPOLEON C. CASAMBRE, in his official capacity as Executive Director, Information and

Gommunications Technology Office; NONNATUS CAtSf,R R.

ROJAS,

Director of the National Bureau of Investigation; and DIRECTOR

in his official capacity
NIG.f,NOR

as

BARTOTOME,

GENERAIJ

capacity as Ghief of the Philippine National Police,
x ------

in his ollicial
.Respondenfs.

A.

PETITION
Petitioner PHIIJPPINE BAR ASSOCIETfON, INC. (PBA), by
counsel, unto the Honorable Court, respectfully states:

PREFATORY STATEMENT

The PBA, the oldest voluntary organization of lawyers in the

country that traces its roots to the Colegio de Abogados de
Filipinas founded in 1891, has always stood by its raison d'etre to
defend and uphold the Rule of lraw.
From the dark days of the dictatorship and martial rule to the

abuse of power and the seeping emasculation of our institutions
that came much later, the PBA has remained constant and faithful in defense of the Rule of Law. Without fear or favor, the PBA has time

and again risen to defend the rights of individuals against the
excesses of State power. Today,

it

comes before the Honora.ble

Court mindful of the torch it bears as it seeks the exercise of the

power of judicial review to resolve issues affecting the
constitutionality

of various provisions of the

Cybercrime

Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175) that was signed

into law by respondent His Excellency President Benigno
Aquino III on
12

S.

September 2QL2.

THE PARTIES

LI

Petitioner PHILIPPINE BAR ASSOGL..f,TION, INC.

exists as a duly organized, non-profit, non-stock corporation with

principal office address at Suite 347 Valero Plaza, 124 Valero
Street, Salcedo Village, Makati City. Petitioner PBA

is

duly

represented in the instant Petition by its imrnediate Past President,

RON.f,LD OLIVAR SOUS. former Commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission, and RODEL

A.

CRUZ, PBA

TYustee and Chairman of the Committee on Public Issues of the

PBA. Petitioner PBA may

be served with orders and legal

processes

of the Honorable Court, as well as pleadings,

documents and papers by the other parties at the address of its counsel-of-record, Solis Medina Limpingco & Fajardo Law Offices,
1106 East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Exchange
Road, Ortigas Comrnercial Center, Pasig City.

1.2 Respondent HIS
BENIGNO
S.

EXCEITITENGY PRESIDENT

AQIIINO

m

("President Aquino") is the President of

the Republic of the Philippines. President Aquino signed into law

Republic Act No. 10175, othennrise known as the "Cybercrime
Prevention Act of 2012" ("Cybercrime Law") and is tasked under

the Constitution to implement the sarne. He may be served with orders and legal processes of the Honorable Gourt, as well
as

pleadings, documents and papers by the other parties at the Office
of the President, Malacaflang Palace, Manila.

1.3

Respondent HON. PAQUITO

N. OCHOA, JR.

("Ochoa"), is the Executive Secretary of the Republic of the
Philippines and may be senred with orders and legal processes of the Honorable Court, as well as pleading:s, documents and papers

by the other parties at the Office of the Executive Secretary,
Malacaflang Palace, Manila.

1.4

Respondent HON. LEILA M. DE IJMA ("De Lima"), is

the Secretary of Justice. She may be served with orders and legal

processes

of the Honorable Court, as well as pleadings,

documents and papers by the other parties at the Department of
Justice Main Building, Padre Faura Street, Manila.

1.5

Respondent, LOUIS NAPOLEON

C.

CAS.EMBRE,

Executive Director

of the Information and Communications
the Department of Science and
24 and 25 of
the

Technology Office under

Technologry (ICTO-DOST). Under Sections

Cybercrime Prevention Act of.2Ol2 (Republic Act No. 10175), the
Executive Director of ICTO-DOST shall be the Chairperson of the

Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (CICC), the inter-agency body created by said law for policy coordination

among concerned agencies and

for the

formr.rlation and

enforcement of the national cybersecurity plan. He may be served

with orders and legal processes of the Honorable Court,

as

well

as

pleadings, documents and papers by the other parties at the
National Computer Center (NCC) Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue,
U.P. Ditiman, Quezon City.

4

1.6

Respondent NONNfi,TUS CAESAR R. ROIAS ("Rojas"),

is the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Under Section l0 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of.2OI2 (Republic Act

No. 10175), the NBI and the Philippine National Police shall be
responsible for the efficient and effective enforcement of the
provisions of said law. He may be served with orders and legal

processes

of the Honorable Court, as well as pleadings,

documents and papers by the other parties at the Office of the Director, NBI Compound, Taft Avenue, Manila.

1.7

Respondent DIRECTOR GENERAL NIGANOR A.

BARTOLOME is the Chief of the Philippine National Police (PItfP).

Under Section 10 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012
(Republic Act No. 10175), the NBI and the PNP shall be responsible

for the efficient and effective enforcement of the provisions of said

Iaw. He may be served with orders and legal processes of the
Honorable Court, as well as pleadings, documents and papers by the other parties at the Office of the Chief PNP, PNP Headquarters,
Camp Crame, EDSA, Quezon City. NATURE OF THE PETITION

2.1.

This Petition for Prohibition is being filed under Rule

65 of the Rules of Court in order to prohibit and erijoin respondents

who are members of the Executive Department (collectively,
"respondents"), from implementing various unconstitutional

provisions of the Cybercrime lraw. Ttre particr:Iar provisions of the

Cybercrime Law assailed herein
constitution are the following:

for being violative of

our

(a)

Section a(c)(a)

- which refers to the unlavvful or

prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of
the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed

through a computer system or any other similar
means which may be devised in the future;

(b)

Section 5 - which refers to other offenses that may

be committed such as the act of willfully abetting
or aiding in the comrnission of any of the offenses enumerated under the Cybercrime Law and/or
the attempt to commit any of the said offenses;

(c)

Section 6 - which refers to the crimes defined and

penalized

by the

Revised Penal Code

as

amended, and special laws,

if

committed by,

through and with the use of information and
comrnunications technologies
;

(d)

Section 7

-

which refers to the prosecution of

offenses under

the Cybercrime Law without

prejudice to any liability for violation of any
provision of the Revised Penal Gode;

(e)

Section 12

-

which refers to the authorization

given

to

law enforcement authorities, with due

cause, to collect and,/or record

by technical or

electronic means traffic data in real-time without

prior judicial warrant, sanction and./or approval;
and

(5)

SECTION 19 - which refers to the restricting or

blocking access by the Department of Justice
("DOJ") upon finding that a computer data is

prima facie violative of the provisions of the
Cybercrime taw.

2.2. A certified true copy of the Cybercrime Law is attached
to the original copy of this Petition and made an integral part
hereof as Annex "A".I

2.3.

As witl be shown hereunder, the questioned provisions

of the Cybercrime Lraw are clearly violative of the basic tenets of
our Constitution enshrined for the protection of individual liberties
against oppressive State action. Ttre fundamental and constitutional

rights transgressed by the questioned provisions of

the

Cybercrime Law include the following, arnong'others: (a) the right

to due process of law under Section l, Article III thereof; (b) the

I

A

copy of

the Cybercrirne Law is
09

also available for
75/.

downloading

at

http://www.gov.pb/ 2012/

/ l2/republic-act-no-

1

0

1

right against unreasonable searches and seizures as well as the

right to privacy of communication and correspondence under
Sections 2, Article

III and 3, Article III, respectively; and (3) the

right of a person against double jeopardy under Section 22, ArticLe
III of the 1987 Gonstitution.

2.4. It is long settled that the function of a writ of prohibition
prayed for herein is to prevent the unlawful and oppressive
exercise of legal authority and to provide for a fair and orderly

administration of iustice.z A writ of prohibition commands a
person to whom

it is directed not to do something which he is

about to do and to suspend all action, and to prevent any further

proceeding

in the prohibited direction. In other words,

prohibition is a preventive remedy to restrain future action by
herein respondents in implementation of the Cybercrime Law,
including its assailed provisions which are clearly unconstitutional,
and hence void.3

I,EGAI,INTEREST

3.1

Petitioner PBA has a clear legal interest to guestion the

assailed provisions of the Cybercrime Law. Petitioner PBA and its

members who are lawyers who

rely on information and
privileged

comrnunication technology
z 3

(ICT) in their

Yusay vs. Coutl of Appeals, G.R. No. 156684, 06 April 20I l; See also: Ter vs. The Honotahle Court of Appeals, C.R. No. 164966, (2007).
See Afcentana vs. Ennila,,Reso.lufibn, G.R. No. I69813, (2006).

conrmunication with their clients, among, others, and are directly
affected by the unconstitutional provisions of the Cybercrime Law.

Petitioner PBA itself relies on ICT media to comrnunicate with its
mem.bers.

In fact, petitioner PBA maintains its own website to

provide inJormation and service to its members which may be
accessed at vrrvvw.philippinebar.org. As such, petitioner PBA and

its members are in danger of sustaining an immediate injury as

a

result of the acts or measures complained of in implementation and
enforcement of the Cybercrime Law.

3.2

Furthermore, the PBA, as well as its members, are

taxpayers and concerned citizens who have legal standing to
question the expenditure of public funds in the implementation of
Iaws that are void for being unconstitutional.a

3.3 As the oldest voh:ntary national organization of lawyers
throughout the Philippines, petitioner PBA and its members, who
as lawyers are officers of the court, not only has a right, but a duty

even, to ensure that obedience and respect for the Constitution is

upheld (Canon

l,

Code of Professional Responsibility) and that the

Rule of Law is protected.

3.4 Following the ruling in Kiloshayan, Incorporated vs.
Morato,232 SCRA I t0 (1994), petitioner PBA has legal standing to
raise serious constitutional issues propounded herein. It is also
a
David ts. Gloria Macapagal-Anoyo, G.R. No. I71396, (1996).

undeniable that the instant Petition raises issues of transcendental

importance which warrant the Honorable Court's relaxation of the
rules of Jocus standi, considering that the fundamental rights of the

people under the Constitution are in danger of being transgressed
with the implementation of the Cybercrime Law.s

TIMEIJNESS OF THE PETITION

4.1-

On l8 September 20L2, the Cybercrime Law

was

published
circulation.

in

the

Manila Bulletin,

a

newspaper

of

general

4.2. Section 3l of the Cybercrime Law provides that the
sarne shall take effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its

publication, thus:
"Section 3I- Ttris Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after the completion of its publication in the Official Gazette or in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation."

4.3. Consequently, the Cybercrime taw took effect on 03
October 2Q12.

4.4. Under Section 3, RuIe 65 of the Rules of

Court,
2OL2,

petitioner PBA has sixty (60) days counted from 03 October

or until 25 November 2012, within which to file the instant Petition
for Prohibition. Thus, the instant Petition is timely filed.
o
Talad ns, Seuetaty oI Energy,z8l SCRA 330 (I99?).

t0

RELEVANT FACTS

5.1. TLre assailed Cybercrime Law is the result of

the

consolidation of Senate Bill No. 2796 and House Bill No. 5808 which were passed by the Senate and the House of Representatives on 05
June 2012 and 04 June 2012, respectively.

5.2. Instead of exercising his constitutional power to veto
the measure, on 12 September 20L2, respondent President Aguino

signed into law Republic Act No. 10175, otherwise known as the "Cybercrime Prevention Act
of. 2012"
.

ARGUMENTS

I
SECTIONS 4(G) 4 and 5 OF RA l0lz5 VIOI,ATE THE RIGIIT TO DI'E PROCESS AS WEII, AS THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, oF E!(PRESSTON, A,ND Or THE PRESS THE I98Z GUARANTEED BY
CONSTITTTTION.

6.1. Ttre freedom of speech, of expression and of the press
is enshrined under Article III, Section 4 of the Constitution, which
provides: "Section. 4. No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the grovernment for redress of g'rievances."

il

6.2.
deemed

Under our Constitution, the sovereign Filipino people

it vital to proscribe prior restraint and subsequent

punishment of legitimate expression which has the effect of unduly

curtailing constitutionally protected speech. As explained in
Soriano vs. I'aguardia, 587 SCRA 79 (2009):

"Proscription against prior restraint, however, is not sufficient as constitutionally protected speech can nevertheless be chilled by the sleight of hand of its subsequent punishment. This voice-of-Jacob-but-handof-Esau situation thus calls for proscription, not only of prior restraint, but also of subsequent punishment to give full protection to speech traditionally regarded to be within the purview of the free speech clause. Subsegnent punishment shares the evils of prior restraint as explained, viz.:

The power of the licensor, against
which John Milton directed his assault by his 'Appeal for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing', is pernicious not merely by reason of the censure of particular conunents but by reason of the threat to censure comments on matters of public concern. It is not merely the sporadic abuse of power by the censor but the penrasive threat inherent in its very

existence that constitutes the danger to freedom of discussion . . . . .H, like threat is inherent in a penal statute (subsequent punishment), like that in question here, which does not aim specilically at evils within the allowable area of state control but. on the contrary. sweeps within its ambit other activities that in ordina4r circumstances constitute an exercise of freedom of speech or of the press. The existence of such a statute, which readily lends itself to harsh and discriminatory enforcement by local prosecuting officials, against partieular groups deemed to merit their displeasure, results in a continuous and penrasive restraint on all freedom of
be regarded as within its punriew. [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]
12

discussion

that might reasonably

6.3.

Sections 4(c)

the Cybercrime Law provides:

"(4) L,ibel. or prohibited -inThe unlavufulof the Revisedacts of libel as defined Article 355 Penal Code, as amended, committed throucrh a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future." [Emphasis and underscoring
suppliedl

6.4.

Libel is defined under Article 353 of the Revised Penal

Code ("RPC") as follows:

"Art. 353. Definition of libel. - A libel is 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 the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical
person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead."

6.5.

Ttrus,

to be held liable for libel, the following
a

elements must

be shown to exist: (a) the allegation of

discreditable act or condition concerning another; (b) publication
of the charge; (c) identity of the person defamed; and (d) existence
of malice.6

6.6. Article 355 of the RPC provides the means of
committing libel to wit: writing, printing, lithography, engraving,

radio, phonograph,

painting,

theatrical

exhibition,

cinematographic exhibition or any similar means. The Cybercrime

Law expands the means to commit libel by including the use of

o

Corpuz vs. DeI Rosario, G.R. No. I4926I (2010).

r3

"computer systems and similar means as may be devised in the future."

6.7. It is respectfully submitted that the inclusion

of the

"use of computer systems" as a means of committing libel is
vague, overbroad and lacks the necessary standards. An essential

element of libel is publlcat&n of the libelous statement. Yet the
questioned provision of the Cybercrime Law fails to define how the

element of publication is established with the "use of computer
systems and similar means as may be devised in the future."

6.8.

By reason of the questioned provisions being vague

and overbroad and the fact that

it

lacks clear standards for

obedience by the citizenry and enforcement by the State, ordinary
citizens who use the internet to express their views (referred to as

"netizens") in the varied ways this can be done in the internet are left unaware of how to express their opinions freely without fear of incurring criminal liability under the Cybercrime Law.

6.9.

Conversely, the questioned provision grants State

agents unfettered discretion in the determining what constitutes

publication of supposedly libelous statements in cyberspace. Ttris

clearly results in the questioned provision constituting a "chilling effect" on netizens communicating through the ICT media. Ttris is particularly true in cases of legitimate dissent or criticism against

14

public officials. It clearly amounts to prior restraint of protected
speech.

6.10. In Romualdez vs, COMELEC, 16701l, 30 April
the Honorable Court held:

2008,

"A person who does not know whether his
speech constitutes a crime under an overbroad or vague law may sirnply refuse to speak to avoid being charged of a crime. The overbroad or vague law chills him into silence." [Emphasis supplied]

6.11. Furthermore, Section a(c) a of the Cybercrime
continues with the phrase

Law

"or any other similar means which

may be devised in the future". It is unclear what are the "other
similar means" referred to in the statute. Under the principle of
ejusdem generk, where general words follow the enumeration of

particular classes of persons or thingis, the general words will
apply only to persons or things of the same general nature or class
as those enumerated,T Based on this principle, there must first be

an enumeration in order to derive the scope of the following
general words. In fact, even

if an enumeration exists, the same

must constitute a readily discernible class othenrise, the principle
of. ejusdem generis

will be inapplicable. In CIR vs: Anrertcan

Express,462 SCRA 197 (2005), the Court held:

"First, although the regulatory provision contains an enumeration of particular or specific words, followed by the general phrase 'and other similar
'
Patay'ao vs. Jowlanos, G.R. No. 148408, (2006).

t5

senrices,' such words do not constitute a readily discernible class and are patently not of the same

kind." [Emphasis supplied]

6.L2. In Section 4(c) 4, there is even no enumeration of
particular or specific words to begin with for ejusdem
grenen's to

be

applied as an aid to its interpretation. The "other similar devices

which may be devised in the future" referred to can therefore be

left to the imagination of law enforcement agencies in the future.
Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are left gruessing.

6.13. Worse, the phrase

ends with "which may be devised

in the future" virtually makes the provision an ex-post facto [aw.
Section 22, Article

III of the Constitution clearly prohibits

the

enactment of an ex-posf facfo law:

"Section 22. No ex-post facto law ot bill of attainder shall be enacted" fEmphasis supplied]

6.14. An ex-post facto law is defined

as one which makes an

action, done before the passing of the law and which was innocent

when done, criminal, and punishes such action.s Under the
Cybercrime Law,
as

worded, when a new technologry arises which,

in the mind of a netizen, is not covered by any penal statute, his
innocent act of using the new technologry to express his views may

become a crime if, by virtue of an unfettered interpretation or

ruling by law enforcement ag'encies, said new technology
"
Mekin vs. Wolfe,2 Phn.74 (1903).

is

l5

subsequently viewed by law enforcement agencies to be within

the purview of the Cybercrime Law. Indeed, this is clearly an ex
post facto legislation that cannot be countenanced.

6.15. Considering that the questioned

Section 4(c)

of the

Cybercrime Law is vague, overbroad and lacks the necessary
standards for obedience and enforcement,

it

necessarily follows

that Section 5 of the same law should also be struck down for being

unconstitutional. Section 5 of the Cybercrime Law provides:

"Section 5. Other Offenses.
shall also constitute an offense:

-

The following acts

(a). Aiding or Abetting in the Comrnission of
Cybercrime.
abets or aids in the commission of any of the

- Any person who willfully

offenses enumerated held liable.

in this Act shall be

(b).

Attempt in the Commission of Cybercrime. Any person who wiltfully attempts to commit any of the offenses enumerated in this Act shall be held liable."

6.16.

In

People

vs. Siton, 600 SCRA 476 (2009), the

Honorable Court explained the violative nature of a vague statute:

"x x x in exercising its power to declare what acts constitute a crime, the legislature must inform the

citizen with reasonable precision what acts it intends to prohibit so that he may have a certain
understandable rule of conduct and know what acts it is his duty to avoid. This requirement has come to be known as the void-for-vagueness doctrine which states that 'a statute which either forbids or requires the doing of an act in terms so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its
t/

meaning and differ as to its application, violates the first essential of due process of law.' [Emphasis suppliedl

6.17. An examination of the Cybercrime Law reveals
absolute lack of definition of the terms "aiding

an

or abetting."

Section 5(a) is nothing more than a legal conclusion of the acts of

aiding or abetting and does not offer a definition of the same.

6.18. Section 5(b) suffers from the

s€une infirmity. The

Cybercrime L,aw fails to define what constitutes an "attempt" to
commit a cybercrime. The foregoing provision merely states that a
person who attempts to commit a cybercrime shall be liable.

6.19.

The foregoing lack of concrete definitions deprives an

individual of a reasonable standard of conduct which would serve
as a guide to avoid criminal liability. Simply, an individual is left
gruessing as to whether or not his actions may constitute a violation

of Section 5 of the Cybercrime Iraw. This carmot be countenanced

without offending such individual's fundamental right to due
process of law.

6.20. Moreover, even applying definitions under existing
laws of the terms "aiding or abetting" or "attempt", the very
nature of the online environment requires a reasonable technical

definition since the accepted definitions of "aiding or abetting" or

"attempt" as applied to the physical world in our laws do not take
into account the peculiar nature of ICT.
18

6.21. In our jurisdiction, to aid or abet is to "assist or
facilitate the commission

of a crime, or to promote

its

accomplishment."e Applying the same to crimes

in the physical

realm, it is not difficult to determine whether an accused's actions constitute "aiding or abetting". To illustrate, the Honorable Court

has ruled that an accused who served as a lookout and seen
present at the scene of the crime was ruled as having aided or
abetted the commission of such crime.I0

6.22. Applying the foregoing to ICT media, by its very
nature where everyone is interconnected and computer systems are interlinked, it becomes difficult to determine without suflicient

and reasonable technical description in the statute whether an individual's actions already constitute "aiding or abetting" under

the Cybercrime Law. For instance,

if "libelous" comrnents are

disseminated through an internet service provider (ISP) which
allows its subscribers as a matter of policy full freedom to express
themselves in a manner they deem fit, would such ISP be gruilty of

"aiding or abettingr" internet libel? Likewise, would an individual

who happens to be present in an internet forum, and posts an
affirmative comrnent to what is seen by law enforcement agencies

as a "Iibelous" remark be gruilty of "aiding or abetting" the
commission of a cybercrime? Because of the vagueness of the law
e r0

Black's Law Dictionary (9h ed. 20Og). People rzs. DeVera,312 SCRA 640 (1999); People rrs. Tannayo,38g SCRA 540 (2002).

r9

that results from the absence of a reasonable technical definition.

myriad of such questions arise.

6.23. In the same vein, an "attempt" is a technical term in
criminal law. Article 6, paragraph 3 of the Revised Penal Code
defines attempts as the conunencement of a felony by overt acts without having performed all the acts of execution by reason other
than his own spontaneous desistance:

"There is an attempt when the offender
corrunences the commission of a felony directly or over

acts, and does not perform all the acts of execution which should produce the felony by reason of some cause or accident other than this own spontaneous
desistance."

6.24. Such definition cannot be readily applied to
media due

ICT

to the peculiar

nature of virtual world. Without

reasonable technical descriptions

of the proscribed acts, it

is

difficult to determine whether an individual has already
corrunenced an attempt to comrnit a cybercrime by overt acts, and

whether or not such individual has not performed all the acts of
execution of such cybercrime.

6.25. The acts required to be performed in ICT for

the

commission of certain acts differ greatly from physical acts which are easily quantifiable as overt acts. Clearly, the intricacies of IGT

require concrete and reasonably understandable technical
description of what constitutes "aiding or abetting" and "attempt"
20

so as not to stray into the

reprehensible territory of

unconstitutional legislation that allow law enforcement agencies to turn into roving commissions, particularly in cyberspace.

6.26. It is respectfully subrnitted that such vagueness
caused by the lack of concrete definitions under Section 5 and

other constitutional defects of the other

questionable

prowisions of the Gybercrime Law discussed in this petition
cannot simply be cured by the mere issuance of implementing

rules and regulations that follow no express standards set in
the statute itself.

6.27. It is elementary

that n:Ies and reg"ulations are limited

and circumscribed by the provisions of its law it is implementing.

An administrative agency has no power to amend or unduly
expand the law it implements through the mere issuance of rules
and regulations.ll

6.28. Legislation is meant to establish a stable public
policy. As rnere executive issuances, implementing nrles and
regulations are easily subject to the changing proclivities of

the governrnent of the day and political vicissitudes of the
times. Given these, the vagnre coveragte of the Cybercrime Iraw may expand and contract depending on how the rulers of the
"
Teoxonvs, Memberc of the Boatdof Adninistatots,33 SCRA 585 (1970).

2l

day view the power vested unto

it by Congress. This is

precisely the abhorrent situation that is caused by legislation that is vague, overbroad and lacking in necessary standards.
For this reason, the guestioned provisions of the Cybercrime Law clearly fail to meet constitutional muster.

6.29. From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that the
Sections 4(C)

4 and 5 of the Cybercrime Law suffer from fatal

infirmities which violate an individual's fundamental constitutional

rights. Thus, the same must be struck down by the Honorable
Court.

il
SECTION 6 OF THE CY-BERCRIME I,AW vlor,aTEs THE EQUAT, PROTECTTON CI,trUSE GUABANTEED IN SECTION I, ARTICI,E III OF THE I98? CONSTITUTION.
6.30. Article III, Section of the 1987 Constitution giuarantees

the equal protection of the laws:

shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws." "Section
6.31. In City of Manila vs. Laguio, 495 Phil. 289 (2005), the

l. No person

Honorable Gourt elaborated the import of the foregoing provision
to wit:

22

"Egual protection requires that all persons or things similarly situated should be treated alike, both as to rights conferred and responsibilities imposed. Similar subjects, in other words, should not be treated differently, so as to give undue favor to some and unjustly discriminate against others. The guarantee means that no person or class of persons shall be denied the same protection of laws which is enjoyed by other persons or other classes in like circumstances. The 'equal protection of the laws is a pledge of the protection of equal laws.' It limits governmental
discrimination. The equal protection clause extends to artificial persons but only insofar as their property is concerned."
6.32. On the other hand, Section 6 of the Cybercrime Law

provides:
"Section. 6. Ail crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (l) degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may be."
6.33. A reading of the provision reveals that the same is akin

to an aggravating circumstance in that all the crimes in the RPC,
even non-computer-related crimes, if comrnitted through the use

of information and communications technology (ICT) shall be
imposed a penalty one

(l)

degnee higher. Othenyise stated, by

committing the same crime, but using

a different means

specifically, ICT, the penalty is one degree higher, similar to
having a qualifying aggravating circumstance.

ZJ

6.34. furisprudence has provided exceptions when there can

be a valid classification in legislation. The following requisites
must be present to have a valid classification:

I) It must be based

on substantial distinctions; 2) It must be germane to the purposes
of the law; 3) It must not be limited to existing conditions only; and

4) It must appty equally to all members of the class.lz It has also

been held that the standard is satisfied

if the classification or

distinction is based on a reasonable foundation or rational basis

and is not palpably arbitrary.i3 In the statute at bar, the first
requisite of having a substantial distinction is not established.

6.35.

The guestioned provision arbitrarily

discriminates

between two crimes which have exactly the siune elements. There can be no reasonable connection for increasing the penalty

if

the

crime committed is by means of ICT. Simply put, the questioned

provision ine4rlicably discriminates against netizens, a class of

citizens who inhabit cyberspace. The law amounts to a class
legislation airned at netizens.
6.36. The classification of netizens apart from other citizens

who do not communicate ttxough IGT media is not germane to the
purpose of the law. Under the declaration of policy contained in the

tz f3

Nunez vs. Sandiganbayan, 197 Phil.40? (1982).

Cen|raf Bank Enployees' Association vs. Bangko
2004.

SenEaJ

ng Pitipinas,

148208, 15 December

24

statute at bar, the State sees the need to protect and safeguard the

integmty of the computer and communications systems. It is the also

stated policy that the State intends

to allow "free, easy and

intelligible" access to information through ICT among the citizens
which is seen as a driver of economic grovuth. But these stated
objectives are not attained by discriminating against netizens and increasing the penalties of all crimes if committed by means of ICT.
Thus, unreasonableness of the provision violates substantive due
process and should be declaredvoid.

ilI
SECTION Z OT RA TOIZS VIOI,ATES THE RULE ON DOUBLE IEOPARDY GUARANTEED IN ARTIGI,E III, SECTION 2l or THE r98Z CONSTTTUTTON THUS,

voII)

6.37. Ttre rule on double jeopardy is provided in Article III,
Section

2l of the I987 Constitution:

"Section 2I. No person shall be twice put in jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. If an act is punished by a law and an ordinance, conviction or acquittal under either shall constitute a bar to another prosecution for the same act."
6.38. For double jeopardy to exist, the following elements must be established:

(I) a first jeopardy

must have attached prior

to the second; (2) the first jeopardy must have terminated; and (3)

the second jeopardy must be for the same offense as the first.Ia
La

Mananlanvs. Courl ofAppe s,350SCRA387 (2001).

IJ

Parenthetically, Iegal jeopardy attaches only (a) upon a valid indictment, (b) before
a competent

court, (c) after arraignment, (d)

a valid plea having been entered; and (e) the case was dismissed

or

otherwise terminated without the express consent
I5

of

the

accused..

6.39. Section 7 of the Gybercrime Law pertinently provides:

"Section 7. Liability under Other Laws. A prosecution under this Act shall be without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, or other special laws." [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]
6.40. To gain the

proper context, the foregoing provision

must be read together with Section 6 of the Cybercrime L,aw which

reads:

"Section. 6. All crimes defined and penalized by the Revised Penal Gode, as amended, and special laws, if committed by, through and with the use of information and communications technologies shall be covered by the relevant provisions of this Act: Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one (l) degree hiqher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code, as amended, and special laws, as the case may be." fEmphasis and underscoring suppliedl

6.4I. Clearly, a crime as defined by our Revised Penal Code
and other special laws may likewise be prosecuted under Section

6 of the Cybercrime Law. fhis is further confirmed by Section

?

above, which categorically states that a prosecution under the Cybercrime Law is without prejudice to any liability for violation of
any provision of the Revised Penal Code. rs
People 9s. Ylagaa, 58 PhiI. 851 (1933).

26

6.42.It is humbly submitted that the State cannot have

both without being oppressive to its citizens. Either,
individual suffers an aggravating circumstance resulting

an
a

in

higher penalty due to the use of ICT in the commission of crimes
punished under the Revised Penal Code or other special laws or an

individual is prosecuted for crime clearly defined under the
Cybercrime Law.
6.43.

It is elementary that the constitutional right against

double jeopardy protects one against

a

second

or

later

prosecution for the same offense, and that when the subseguent
inJormation charges another and diflerent offense, although arising

from the same act or set of acts, there is no prohibited double
jeopardy.lo Jurisprudence has further dictated that there is no double jeopardy if one is prosecuted by a special law and the
Revised Penal Code. Nevertheless, the foregoing should find
exception.

6.44. A reading of the foregoing provisions reveals that what

is being punished under Section 6 of the Cybercrime Law is the
exact same act punished under the Revised Penal Code and other

special laws,

In fact, the questioned provision has in reality all other special laws that impose

adopted and incorporated wholesale all offenses delined in the

Revised Penal Code and

penal sanctions and allows a separate and distinct prosecution
rG

People

rr,

Quijada,259 SCRA

I9l

(1996).

27

under the Cybercrirne Law for the same offenses for so long as
IGT was used in the commission of the same offenses.

6.45. Otherwise stated, the crime punished under Section

6

of the Cybercrime Law is exactly the same crime, with exactly the
same elements, as provided in the Revised Penal Code and other

special laws, save for the use of ICT in the commission thereof

which the law uses as justification to place netizens under real
threat of double jeopardy. Such an oppressive provision obviously

discriminates against netizens in comparison to all other citizens

who do not use ICT. Obviously, this detracts from the declared
objective of the statute and in fact retrogressive in this information
age.

w
SECTION 12 OT THE CYBERCRIME I.AW IS PATENTLY UNCONSTITTITIONAI, CONSIDERING THAT:

A.

SECTION 12 OF THE CYBERCRIME I..AW VIOI,ATES AN INDIVIDUtrL'S RIGHT TO PRTVACY.

6.46.

At the outset, it bears emphasis that the definition of

"traffic data" under Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law cannot be
considered as innocent data which may be gathered and recorded

by law enforcement agencies upon their unilateral determination
of "due cause" which is left undefined under the law.17

l7

See also Section 3 (0) and (p) of the questioned statute lor related definitions.

28

6.47. The right to privacy is a constitutionally protected right.

The same is protected under the Constitution. In the case of OpIe

vs. Torres, 293 SCRA 141 (I998), the Honorable

Court

categorically ruled that the right to privacy has a constitutional
foundation:

"Assuming, arguendo, that A.O. No. 308 need not be the subject of a law, still it cannot pass constitutional muster as an administrative legislation because facially it violates the right to privacy. The essence of privacy is the rright to be let alone.' In the 1965 case of Griswold vs. Gonnecticut, the United States Supreme Gourt gave more substance to the right of privacy when it ruled that the right has a constitutional foundation. It held that there is a right of privacy which can be found within the penumbras

of the first, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Ninth
In the 1968 case of Morfe vs. Mutuc, we adopted the Griswold ruling that there is a constihrtional right

Amendments, x x x

toprivacy.xxx
Indeed, if we extend our judicial g'aze we wifl find that the right of privacy is recognized and enshrined in several provisions of our Constitution. It is expressly recognized in Section 3(l) of the Bitl of Rights

xxx

Other facets of the right to privacy are protected in various provisions of the Bill of Rights,
viz:.

'Sec. l. No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, nor shall any person be denied the equal protection of the laws. Sec. 2. fhe right of the people to be secure in their persons! houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue
29

except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after
examination under oath or affirmation of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized.

Sec. 6. The liberty of abode and of changing the same within the limits prescribed by law shall not be impaired

except upon lawful order of the court.

Neither shall the right to travel be impaired except in the interest of national security, public safety, or public health, as may be provided by law.
xxx.

Sec.

8. Ttre right of the people,

including those employed in the public and private sectors, to form unions, associations, or societies for purposes not contrary to law shall not be abridged.
Sec. I7. No person shall be compelled to be a witress against hirnself."' pmphasis and underscoring suppliedl
6.48. The Honorable Court has affirmed that

our right to

privacy is protected not only by our Constitution, but by statutory
protections as well. In Marquez vs. Desierfo, 359 SCRA 772 (ZOOI),
the Honorable Court rr:led thus:

'[elvery person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his

protected in our laws. The Givil Code provides that

"Zones of privacy are recoqnized

and

neighbors and other persons' and punishes as actionable torts several acts for meddling and prying into the privacy of another. It also holds a public officer or employee or any private individual

of trade and industrial secrets, and trespass to dwelling. Invasion of privacy is an offense in special laws like the Anti-Wiretapping
revelation
underscoring suppliedl

liable for damages for any violation of the rights and Iiberties of another person, and recognizes the privacy of letters and other private communications. The Revised Penal Gode makes a crime of the violation of secrets by an oflicer, the

Iraw, the Secrecy of Bank Deposits Act, and the Intellectual Property Code." [Emphasis and

6.49. In the instant case, it is submitted that Section 12 of the

Cybercrime Iraw constitutes

an unlavufi:I intrusion into

an

individual's right

to privacy, particularly to privacy

of

comrnunication. The questioned provision grrants law enforcement

agencies, upon "due cause", the authority to record or collect "traffic data" in real time, viz: "Section 12. Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data. due cause. - Iraw enforcement authorities, withby technical shall be authorized to collect or record

or electronic means traflic data in real-time associated with specilied communications

transmitted by means of a computer system.

Traffic data refer only to the communication's origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or type of underlying service, but not content, nor identities.

Alt other data to be collected or seized
disclosed will require a court warrant.

or

Service providers are required to cooperate and assist law enforcement authorities in the collection or recording of the above-stated information.
xx

x" [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]

6.50. \illhat the questioned provisions attempted to do is to

breakdown the comrnunication process into three (3) parts: (a) the

identity of the parties to the comrnunication; (b) the content of the
communication; and (3) the transmission of the communication.
Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law allows a warrantless search and
seizure of data involved in the transmission of communication. It is

submitted that this cannot be countenanced since the entire
communication process is constitutionally protected.

6.51.

ffrsf, the data to be gathered under Section

12 of the

Cybercrime Law is not innocent or harmless information. Section
12 deludes when

it

makes a "distinction" between data which

requires a court warrant and traffic data:

communication's origin, destination, route, time, date, size, duration, or tytrle of underlying senrice, but not content, nor identities.

"Traffic data refer only to

the

AII other data to be collected or seized or disclosed will require a coutt warrant." [Emphasis
and underscoring supplied]

6.52, Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law feebly attempts to

draw a fine distinction between data which would disclose the
content

or identities on one hand. and data which shows the

communication's origin, destination, route, time, date, size,
duration, or fi>e of underlying service. However, in the case of

I{atz vs. United Sfates, 389 U.S. 437 (1967), which was cited by the Honorable Court

in

OpIe vs, Torres, supra, the United States
32

Supreme Court nrled that the paramount consideration
determine whether

or not an individual has an e:<pectation

privacry is the intent of such individual:

"For the Fourth Amendment protects people, not places. What a person knowinsly extrroses to the pb!!g, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection. ,See Lewis vs. United States, 385 U. S. 206, 2I0; United States vs. Lee,274 U. S. 559, 563. But what he seeks to presene as private, even in an area accessible to the public. may be constitutionally protected, See Rios vs. United States, 364 U, S. 253; Ex parte Jackson, 96 U. S. 727, 733." [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]
6-53. Pertinently, when an

individual intends to keep his

communications and transactions in the internet private, even

if the internet may be argrably a public arena, such
information may be entitled

to constitutional

protection

against warrantless search and seizure.
6.54. There

is little doubt that the questioned provision

allows law enforcement agencies to search and seize traffic

data upon a unilateral executive determination of "due
cause", without the knowledge of the individuals involved in
the internet transactions and communications who are denied
any opportunify to contest the State action in the first instance,

and without prior judicial intervention.ls

I8

The finer legal poErts on ttus matter are discussed in a later sectron of the Petitron-

33

6.55.

Of course, an individual may waive a constitutional

right, but such waiver must be clear and unequivocal and courts

"indulge every reasonable presumption against waiver of
fundamental constitutional rights",ts

6.56.

In PoIIo vs. Conslantino-David,

659 SCRA I89 (201l),

the Honorable Gourt took into account an Office Memorandum
which contains a waiver of privary rights to justify the search into a
gioverrunent-issued computer
:

"Office Memorandum No. 10, S. 2002 'Computer Use Policy (CUP)' explicitly provides:

xxx
of privacy rights. Users expressly waive any right to privacy in anything they create,
Waiver

5.

store, send, or receive on the computer through the

Internet

or any other computer network. Users
xxx

understand that the GSC may use human or automated means to monitor the use of its Computer Resources.

The GSC in this case had implemented a policy that put its employees on notice that they have no expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send or receive on the office computers, and that the CSC may monitor the use of the computer resources using both automated or human means. Tttis implies that on-the-spot inspections may be done to ensure that

the computer resources were used only for such legitimate business purposes." [Emphasis and
underscoring suppliedl

Anonymous lretter-Complarnl aganst Atty. Miguel Morales, Clerk of Court, Mettopolitan Tlial Court of Manila, 5?1 SCRA361 (2008).

34

6.57. From the foregoing, the primary factor considered is

whether or not an individual possesses an expectation of privacy

over his data when transacting in the virtual world is
individual's intent.

the

6.58. Thus, even assuming that individual citizens expressly and categorically waive in favor of their ISP access to such "traffic

data" as defined in the law. such waiver does not extend to benefit
the State such that law enforcement agencies may seize such traffic

data in real time when they unilaterally determine that there is
"due cause" to do so.
6.59. Make no mistake about

it. The questioned provision

gives law enforcement agencies the unbridled power without

prior judicial intenrention, whenever they believe that there is ttdue causett, to rnonitor, track and record where netizens
cornrnunicate, including but not lirnited to which sites they visit,

which computer systems they communicate

dft,

what they do

while in the virtual world, when they do it and how often they do
it - all without the netizens knowing it. All that the statute has to
offer is the feeble assurance that their identities and the content

of their comrnunication will not be looked into until a judicial
warrant is obtained. This is Big Brother at work.
6.60.

It is important to note that this power granted to law

enforcement agencies includes the ability to monitor, track and
35

record, upon t'due causett communications made by members

of the Honorable Court who utilize IGT as part of their daily
lives.
6.61. Clearly,

the breaking down of the communication

process leading to a distinction as to the type of data under Section
12 of the

Cybercrime Law is merely illusory and clearly falls short

of justifying a warrantless intrusion into an individual's right to
privacy, particularly in regard to comrnunication.

6.62.

Second, Section 12 of the Cybercrime Iraw lacks any

adequate standards for law enforcement agencies with respect to

the gathering, collection, and prevention of the data gathered
when it merely states that

"[]aw enforcement authorities, with due

cause, shall be authorized to collect or record by technical or
electronic means traffic data in real-time associated with specified
comrnunications transmitted by means of a computer system,"

6.63. I'Due cause" that would justify the seizure of traffic data by law enforcement authorities was not defined under the

Cybercrime taw. The questioned statute also does not provide

any standard for determination thereof under said law.
Everything

is left to the discretion of the concerned

law

enforcement agency.

6.64.

Again, in OpIe vs. Torres, supra, the Honorable

Court disallowed a uniform gathering of information through

biometric scanning on the ground that the lack of safeguards
would open the door to possible abuse by public officials:

"x x x Ttris is an admission that the PRN will not be used solely for identification but for the generation of other data with remote relation to the avowed purposes of A.O. No. 308. Glearly. the indefiniteness of .f,.O.

No, 308 can crive the government the roving authority to store and retrieve information for a purpose other than the identification of the
individual through his PRN.

The potential for misuse of the data to be
gathered under A.O. No. 308 cannot be underplayed as the dissenters do. Pursuant to said administrative order, an individual must present his PRN everytime he deals with a government agency to avail of basic senrices and security. His transactions with the government agency will necessarily be recorded whether it be in the computer or in the documentary file of the agency. The individual's file may include his transactions for loan availments, income tax returns, statement of assets and liabilities, reimbursements for medication, hospitalization, etc. The more freguent the use of the PRN, the better the chance of building a huge and formidable information base through the electronic

linkage of the files. The data may be gathered for gainful and useful government purposes; but the existence of this vast reservoir of personal
misuse, a temptation that may be too great for some

inforrnation constitutes a covert invitation to

of our authorities to resist."
underscoring supplied]

[Emphasis and

6.65. Applying the foregoing to Section l2 of the Cybercrime

Law, there is an equal dearth of safegiuards against potential
abuses by law enforcement agencies who happen to fall under the

political branch of our government. The Cybercrime Law does not
provide the purpose for the collection and recording of traffic data

and substitutes for the required stated purpose the ambiguous
37

phrase "due cause", Neither does the Gybercrime Law provide
safeguards to prevent the unauthorized access or leakage of such
data obtained prior to the issuance of a judicial warrant.

6,66. As a result, Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law grants

the State, through agents of the Executive Branrch, a statutorily

mandated blanJret waiver

of the right to privacy of all
as

individuals over their traffic data. Ttris cannot be countenanced

it runs contrary to the principle that a waiver of fundamental rights,
such as the right to privacy, must be clear and unequivocal.zo

6.67. Another reason why the Honorable Court struck down

the offending law in OpIe vs, Totres, supra, because of the absence
of a showing as to how difierent forms of data may be segregated:

address and other basic personal information about the individual. Even that hospitable assumption will not save.H,.O. No. 308 from constitutional inflrmity for again said order does not tell us in clear and cateaorical terms how these information gathered shall be handled. It does not provide who shall control and access the data, under what circumstances and for what purtr ose. These faqtors are essential to safegnrard the privacy and gruaranty the integrity of the information. WelI to note, the computer linkage gives other governrnent agencies access to the information. Yet, there are no controls to guard against leakage of information. \itltren the access code of the control programs of the particular computer system is broken, an inbnrder, without fear of sanction or penalty, can make use of the data for whatever puq)ose, or worse, manipulate the data stored

"We can even grant. argruendo. that the computer data file will be lirnited to the name.

Anonymous Letter4omplaint against Atty. Miguel Morales, Clerk of Court, Metropolitan Trial Coun of Manila, supra.

within the
suppliedl

system."

[Emphasis and underscoring

6.68. Such infirmity

is likewise present in the Cybercrime

Law. To reiterate, there

is an appalling

absence

of

adequate

safeguards in the Cybercrime L,aw.

6.69.

Ilinally, where the fundamental right to privacy of

an

individual is in danger of being violated, gfovernment must show
that there is a compelling state interest that is narrowly drawn. In

Oplevs. Torres, supra, the Honorable Court ruled thus:

"Unlike the dissenters, we prescind, from the premise that the right to privacy is a fundatnental right guaranteed by the Constitation, hence, it is the burden of governtnent to show that A.O, No. 308 is justified by sotne cornpelling state interest and that it
is nawowly drawn. A,O. No. 308 is predicated on two
considerations:

(l) the need to provide our citizens and foreigners with the facility to conveniently transact business with basic service and social security

providers and other g'overrunent instrumentalities and

fraudulent transactions and misrepresentations by
persons seeking basic senrices. It is debatable whether these interests are compelling enough to warrant the issuance of A.O. No. 308. But what is not arguable is the broadness, the vagueness, the overbreadth of A.O. No. 308 which if implemented will put our people's right to privacy in clear and present danger." [Emphasis supplied] 6.70. In the instant case, Section 2 of the Cybercrime Law,

(2) the need to reduce, if not totally

eradicate,

which declares state policy in the enactment of the Cybercrime
Law is at odds with Section 12 of the same. Section 221 states that
zl

Section 2 of the Cybelcnme Law provides:

"Section 2. Declaration of Policy. - The State recognizes the vital role of hformation and cornrnu.nications industries such as content production, telecommunications, broadcasting

electronic corrunerce, and dala processing,

in the nation's overaLl social and economic

39

there is a need to "protect and safeguard the integrrity of computer, computer and communications systems, networks, and databases,

and the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information

and data stored therein, from all forms of misuse, abuse, and
illegal access", yet Section
12 grants

law enforcement agencies the

authority to determine for themselves the necessity of intruding
into an individual's right to privacy.
B.

SECTION 12 OF THE CYBERCRIME I,f,W VIOI-,ATES AN INDIVIDUAL'S

RIGHT AGAINST UNREASONABI.,E
SEARCHES AND SEIZURES. 6.71.

Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law is also violative

of the constitutional right of an individual against unreasonable
searches and seizures under Section Z. Article
Constitution, which provides
:

III of

the

"Section. 2. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures of whatever nature and for any purpose shall be inviolable, and no search warrant or warrant of arrest shall issue except upon probable cause to be determined personally by the judge after examination under oath or affisnsfle4 of the complainant and the witnesses he may produce, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

development. Ttre State also recognizes the impodance of providing an environrnent conducive to the development, acceleration, and rational application and exploitation of information and communications lechnology (ICQ to attair free, easy, and intelligible access to exchange and/or delivery of information; and the need to protecl and safeguard the integrity of computer, compute! and communications systems, networks, and data.bases, and the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of hlormation and data stored therein, from all forms of misuse, abuse, and illegal access by making punishable under the law such conduct or conducts. In this light, the State shall adopt su.fficient powers to effectively prevent arld combat such offenses by faciJitating their detection, investigation, and prosecution at both the domestic and ulternational levels, and by providing arrangements for fast and reliable internalional cooperation."

40

6.?2- The foregoing provision is a fundamentd protection of

an individual's right to privacy.zz The safegiuards are manifested

through the necessity of the issuance of a search warrant upon

a

showing of probable cause to be determined

by a cold

and

impartial judge. "Probable cause"
reasonable ground sufficiently strong

is taken to mean as "a
by
circumstances
to

of

suspicion supported

in

themselves

to induce a cautious man

believe that the person accused is guilty of the offense charged."z3
Probable cause demands more than a bare suspicion.za
6.73. Under the foregoing Constitutional provision, it is clear

the people have vested the power to issue search warrants
exclusively on judges by virtue of the exercise of their judicial
function. As held in the case of Manly Sportwear Manufacturing,

Inc. vs. Dadodette Enterprises, 470 SCRA 38a (2005):

exercise of their judicial function. As such, the power to guash the same also rests solely with them. After the judge has issued a warrant, he is not precluded to subsequently quash the same, if he finds upon reevaluation of the evidence that no probable cause
exists.

"The power to issue search warrants is exclusively vested with the trial judges in the

6.74. The people also deemed

it

necessary to state under

Section 2, Article III of our Constitution that probable cause should

22

23
2a

Ople vs. Torres, supra.
People vs. Tan, supra.

Clay & Feather International, lnc. vs. Lichaytoo, 649 SCRA 516 (201l).

41

be

@

by the trial judge who is required to

examine the applicant for the warrant and the witnesses he may

produce. To establish probable cause that would justify the
issuance of such a warrant, the judge is also required under our

Constitution to describe the place to be searched as well as the
persons or things to be seized with sufficient particularity.zs 6.75. Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law completely does

away with the foregoing constitutional safeguards that we have

enshrined in our fundamental law for our protection against
State action.

It replaces the requirement of iudicial probable

cause determination with a unilateral executive determination

of "due cause" by agents of a political branch of governrnent
who are not even bound by legislated standards in effecting a warrantless search and seizure of traffic data.
6.76.

And because the purpose for which traffic data is

gathered and collected

is not expressly provided in

the

Cybercrime Law, Iaw enforcement agencies are given unbridled discretion to determine what constitutes "due cause". As a result,

under the questioned provision, agents of the political branch
of government are empowered to become roving comrnissions
and inquisitors in the virtual world.
6.77. This intrusion

by the State into an individual's tralfic

data cannot be countenanced since precisely, Section 2, Article III
2s
See also: O&a.be ss. Gutienez,429 SCRA 685 (2004).

42

of the Constitution ensures that an individual is protected against
unreasonable searches and seizures, which refers to the immunity
of one's person from interference by the State, included in which is

his residence, his papers and other

possessions.zo The State,

through its law enforcers, cannot make arbitrary searches against individuals based on the purported standard of "due cause" since
that is precisely the evil which the Constitution seeks to prevent.

6.78. Such warrantless searches and seizures are prohibited

under our Constitution, save for certain exceptions.z? Ttte real-time

monitoring, recording, and collection of data on the ground of
"due cause" determined by the law enforcement agency is not one
of the recognized exceptions.

6.79. The monitoring, collection and recording of

traffic

data clearly arnounts to an unjustilied warantless search and
2a
27
Caterpillat,Inc.
rrs. ,Sernsor, 505 SCRA 704 (2006).

CI. Valeroso vs. Coutl oI Appeals,sg8 SCRA 4I (2008) wherein the Honora.ble Court enurnerated
the allowable rnstances of warrantless searches:
The above proscription is not, however, absolute. The following are the well-recogm.ized instances where searches and seizu.res are allowed even without a valid warrant:

[Seiaure] of evidence in "plain view.'' The elements are: a) a pnor vaLd intrusion based on the valid warrantless arrest in which the police are legally present in the pursuit of their official duties; b) the evidence was inadvertently discovered by the police who have the right to be where they are; c) the evidence must be immediately apparent; and d) "plain view" justified mere seizure of evidence wjthout further search;

l. 2.

Warrantless search incidental to a lawful arrest;

3. 4. 5, 6. 7. 8. 9.

Search of a movrng vehicle. HigNy regulated by the goverrunenl, the vehicle's inherent mobility reduc€s erpectation of privacy especially when its transit in public thoroughfares fumishes a highly reasona-ble suspicion amounthg to probable cause that the occupant corrunitted a criminal

activitli

Consented warrantless search:
Customs search: Stop and Frisk;

Exigent and emergency circurnstances. Search of vessels and aircraft; [arld]

lnspection of buildings and other premises for the enforcement of fire, sanitary and building

regulations.

43

seizure without a prior judicial determination of probable
cause.

It is reasonable to expect that trafEc data obtained
a warrantless search may later be used by
law

through

enforcement agencies to obtain a judicial warrant to conduct

further a more intnrsive search. Simply put, this allows the
abhorrent situation of search and seizure frrst; judicial warrant
to follow. Plainly, it puts the cart before the horse.

6.80.

It is also clear that the

questioned provision

amounts

to a general warrant legislated in favor of law
12 of the

enforcement agencies to search and seize an individualts

tralfic data. This is evident from the portion in Section

Cybercrime Law mandating service providers to cooperate and
assist law enforcement authorities in the collection or recording of
an individual's tralfic data which is patently unconstitutional.

6.81.

To illustrate this awesome power granted to law

enforcement agencies under the questioned provision, it is, by

analogy, equivalent

to mandating all

telecommunications

cornpanies to provide law enforcement agencies, on demand,

telephone records of a particular SIM card (whose ownership

is unknown) upon a supposed determination of rrdue causett
and without any judicial warrant founded on a determination

of probable cause. The only assurance given is that the
subscriber data including the identity of the owner of the SIM

44

card and the content of his or her communication will not be
looked into until a warrant is obtained from a judge.

6.82. To

further exemplify, the questioned provision is

akin to allowing an agent of the Executive Branch (who
believes there is "due cause" to do so) to intercept at will, after
he determines that there is "due causett to do so, the telephone

bill of a member

of the Honorable Gourt which contains details

such as dates, tirnes, duration and frequency of calls and text

messages both made and received, the telephone numbers

involved in such communicationsl to exarnine said phone bill

and make copies thereof, all without the knowledge of the

magistrate who owns the telephone. The only assurance
afforded by the law

is that the name of the owner of the
bill and his or her subscription

telephone corresponding to the

details will not be looked into -- for the moment. This is clearly

an unwartanted and obtnrsive intnrsion to an individual's
right to privacy.

6,83, It is emphasized through this visual illustration that even

if the traffic data of an individual is readily
chosen ISP (as phone records are
company), the sarne still constitutes
cannot be seized at

available from his
telecomrnunication

to a

@

which

will by agents

of the Executive Branch without

judicial intenrention in the form of a search and seizure warrant or
a subpoena.

45

6.84. Every individual, from the highest magistrate

of the
a

Honorable Court to the ordinary citizen who can't even afford

personal computer and only communicates through ICT

in

an

internet cafe, has a reasonable expectation of privacy that such private information of his traffic data will not be intruded into by
the State at will. 6.85.

It should also be emphasized that the reason why an

individual's traffic data is made available to the ISP is precisely because

of a private senrice or subscription contract

an

individual entered into with the latter. Although it is arguable that

the individual has consented to the ISP necessarily

having

information on his or her traffic data by virtue of said contract, such consent cannot be constnred as having been extended in

favor of the State, especially considering the undeclared
puryose by which the latter

will

use the information. This is

much the same way why the State cannot simply seize and
examine an individual's telephone bill.
6.86. In the case of. People vs, Chua Ho San,308 SCRA 432

(1999), the Honorable Court gave the requisites for a legitimate

waiver against unreasonable search and seizures, viz:
"The State then attempted to persuade this Court that there was a consented search, a legitimate waiver of the constitutional cruarantee against obtrusive searches. It is fundamental, however, that to constitute a waiver, it must first appear that the right exists; secondly, that the person involved had knowledge. actual or constnrctive. of the existence of such a right; and lastly, that said person had an actual intention to relinquish the right." [Emphasis and underscoring suppliedl
46

6.87. Based

on the foregoing standard, it is clear

that

whatever consent the individual may have given to the service

provider cannot be construed as being a waiver of his/her right
against obtrusive searches by the State.

6.88. Although Section 12 of the Cybercrime Law expressly states 11a1 11effic data does not include identity or content, there is

no procedure extant in the said provision that will conclusively
ensure the effective separation of treffic data from "non-traffic"
data. In fact, the identity and content of such data communications are easily verifiable from the tralfic data obtained.

6.89.

The iniguity of the foregoing provision

is

further

compounded by the fact that there is no assurance that the owner

of the computer is the same person who actually accessed the
unlawful material. Ttrus, while law enforcement agencies are
authorized to record the origin and destination of data, an owner of the originating computer may be implicated in an offense of which he is completely innocent of any wrongdoing.

6.90. At this point, no other conclusion may be reached other

than that traffic data cannot be considered "innocent data" which
may be gathered and recorded by law enforcement agencies upon

their own determination of due cause for the gathering of the
same.

47

6.9I. The foregoing infirmities

in Section LZ of

the

Cybercrime Law are patently unconstitutional for violating an

individual's constitutionally guaranteed right

to privacy and

protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Such
being the case, this warrants the exercise of the Honorable Court's
power of judicial review and must be declared unconstitutional.

v
CY'BERCRIME r,aw, wHIcH ArJLows THE DOI TO RESTRICT OR BIJOCK ACCESS TO GoMPITTER D.ETA, IS LIKEWISE CONSTITIITIO NAIJLY INTIRM.
6.92. Section 19 of the Cybercrime Law likewise suffers from

SECTION

19 OF THE

constitutional infirmities similar
provisions. Section
19 of the

to the other previously

cited

Cybercrime Lawstates:

"Section. 19. Restricfrng or Blocking Access to Computer Data. lMhen a computer data is prima facje found to be - violation of the provisions of this in Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block
access to such computer data."

6.93. A plain reading of the foregoing provision readily shows

that the same nrns contrary to several constitutionally safeguarded rights, r'.e., the right to due process of law, the right against unlawfirl
search and seizr:re, as well as the right to freedom of speech and of

expression, under Sections
the Constitution.

l,

2 and 4, respectively, of Article III of

48

6.94.

fi'rsf, the aforementioned provision is clearly violative

of right of the people to due process of law. Ttre right to due
process includes that of procedural due process, which simply
means procedural fairness, or is often expressed as a "law which hears before it condemns". Procedural due process is satisfied as

long as a person under judicial, quasi-judicial or any other
governmental proceeding is given a real opportunity to be heard.
6.95. As aptly defined

by the Honorable Court in Wa-acon

vs. People, 510 SCRA 429 (2006), prima facie evidence is such
"[e]vidence which, if unexplained or uncontradicted, is sufficient to sustain a judgment in favor of the issue it supports, but which
may be contradicted by other evidence". From this very definition,

evidence remains prima facie evidence only if it is unrebutted or
uncontradicted by other evidence.
6.96.

The legal definition of prima facie linding

presupposes that there should be at least an opportunity for a

citizen to rebut and contradict any evidence that the DOf has before an order to block or restrict cornputer data is issued.

Yet, the questioned provision affords no such means to the

citizen at the first instance prior to State seizure of his
computer data.
6.97.

It is humbly submitted that this deficiency in the

questioned provision allows

for a unilateral

executive
49

deterrnination to block access to computer data without prior
opportunity for a citizen to dispute its basis. This constitutes a dangerous grant of broad and sweeping powers to a political branch of our government.
6.98. There is no disputing that social media has become a

vital forum for an open discussion of pressing social issues. Time

will tell to what extent the dissemination of news and information,
as we know it,

will migrate from paper and traditional media (e.9.

television and radio) into online channels. As a testament to this

trend, established media networks have already established

a

growing presence in the internet. Today, a growing number of our citizens rely on online publication as their source of news and
inJormation. The Arab Spring was chronicled as one fuelled by

access

to information and instant communication through
a

the

internet among

young citizenry mobilized by a comrnon desire to

effect fundamental changes in their societies.

6.99.

In tirnes when our society is faced with a cnrcial
q,uo

dilemma, when the slatus

is under threat, the questioned

provision grants the DOJ, senring as the alter ego of the ruler of
the day, the sole and unfettered discretion without any judicial

intewention to restrict and block access to information that the
State deems repugtnant to the Cybercrirne Law, even on the

flimsy pretext that the computer data is libelous.

50

6.100.

This power is equivalent to the law enforcement

agencies having the power to shut down radio and television
stations on a whim. This is equivalent to the State having the power

to shut down newspapers.

6.101.

These are the frightening consequences of the

inlirmities of the questioned provision. This is a glaring example

why measures that curtail freedom of expression must undergo
strict scrutiny. For it must be remembered that the same well

intentioned measure intended to suppress criminal behavior

can stille legitimate expression that is protected under our
Gonstitution. Seen in this light, there is no doubt that Section
19

of

the Cybercrime Law should be declared null and void for clearly being violative of the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.

6.102.

Second, Section

I9 of the Cybercrime

Law

violates the right of the people against unreasonable searches and

seizures enshrined under
Constitution.

of

Section

2. Article III of

the

6.103. It is respectfully

submitted that an order to

restrict or block access to private computer data contemplated

under the questioned provision amounts to a warrantless
seizure of private property.

5t

6,I04. A

decision

to restrict and block access to
contents to

computer necessitates

a prior examination of its

determine whether the same violates any of the provisions of the

Cybercrime Law. In clear violation of Section 2, Article III of the Constitution, the questioned provision does not require an
examination under oath of a complainant and the witnesses that
may be produced before a cold and impartial judge.

6.105. It is difficult to

comprehend under such

situations, other than for obvious reasons of expediency, why

law enforcernent agencies would rather act unilaterally
instead of going to court to seek a judicial order to restrict and

block access to private computer data that is prima facie violative of the provisions of the Gybercrime Law.
Such

indolent resort to expediency at the cost ofdue process oflaw

and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of our citizens
cannot be countenanced in our democratic society. It is a great

cause of concern that the questioned provision vested this
power on political oflicers of the Executive Branch who senre
at the pleasure of the ruler of the day.

6.106. It

bears reminding that the Filipino people

expressly vested this power under Section 2, Article

III

of our

Constitution to a cold and impartial judge who is rnandated to personally determine whether or not there is probable cause to
52

issue a search warrant, which may ultimately result in the seizure of our private computer data. The intenrention of a

judge is a fundamental protection that the filipino people
enshrined in our Constitution.

6.107. As affirmed by the Honorable Court
Caterpillar,Inc. ys. Samson, 505 SCRA 704 (2006):
"The Constitution, however, does not provide a blanket prohibition against all searches and seizures, rather the fundamental protection accorded by the search and seizure clause is that between persons and the police, there must stand the protective authority of a magistrate clothed with the power to
the responsibilities of the magistrate do not end with the granting of the warrant, but extends to the custody of the articles seized. In exercising custody over these articles, the property rights of the owner should be balanced with the social need to presewe evidence, which will be used in the prosecution of a case." [Emphasis and underscoring supplied]

in

issue or refuse such search warrant. Yet,

6-108.

Absent judicial intervention prior to a warrantless

seizure of private property, the questioned provision clearly
sulfers from a fatal Constitutional infirmity.

6.109.

Third, Section 19 of the Cybercrime Law violates

the right of the people to freedom of speech and of expression
found under of Section 4, Article III of the Constitution,

6.110.

The questioned provision of the Cybercrime Law

clearly constitutes prior restraint. Prior restraint has been defined
as "official governmental restrictions on any form of expression in
53

advance

of actual dissemination. But the mere prohibition of
of
the

government interference before words are spoken r's not an
adequate protection

freedom

of expression if

the government

could arbitrarily punish after the words have heen spoken. The threat

of subseguent punishment itself would operate as a very effective

prior

restraint."28

6.1I

l.

In the instant case, it is submitted that Section

19

of the Cybercrime lraw constitutes prior restraint in that it allows
the DOJ to issue orders restricting or blockingl access to private computer data, effectively censoring the same, with just a simple
unilateral executive determination.

6.112. Viewed in the context of pivotal societal
circumstances described above, the looming prospect that public access to online publications may be blocked or restricted upon

orders of the DOJ, without any prior opportunity to rebut and
unfettered by judicial intervention, sends a "chilIing effect" on
a

growing number of journalists who use the internet as a medium to
disseminate news and information. [t discriminates against online

journalists by making them susceptible to political pressure,
particularly in trying social circumstances, in reporting the news and expressing their views under pain of virtual closure on the

basis of a unilateral executive determination. The questioned
provision also puts ordinary citizens, bloggers and netizens on
n
Mz

Ensoo F. Soriarro rrs.

Consoliza P, Laguazdia, e, aJ. 625 SCRA 254 (2010).

54

notice that on a whim, the State without judicial intervention can

restrict and block access of others who may want to seek their
views and opinions on pressing social issues-

6.113.

Clearly, the great potential for abuse that the

guestioned provisions allow constitutes a clear and present danger freedom of expression in our democratic society. AI,I.EGITTION IN SUPPORT OF THE PRAYTR TOR THE ISSUANCE Of A TEMPORIIRY RESTRAINING ORDER AND/OR WRrT Or PRETJMTN^f,RY INJUNCTION

7.I. Petitioner PBA hereby repleads the
allegations by reference.

foregoing

7.2. From the foregoing discussion, the various provisions
of the Cybercrime Law assailed herein, i.e., Sections 4(c)(4), 5, 6,

7, 12 and 19 thereof, clearly transgress and trample upon the
constitutional rights of, not only the members of petitioner PBA, but
that of the Filipino people in general.

7.3. Thus, respondents should be immediately enjoined

from implementing and/or enforcing such void

and

unconstitutional provisions of the Cybercrime Law as the same would cause grave and irreparable injury, not merely to petitioner
PBA and its members, but to the Filipino people.

q4

7.4. There

is likewise an urgent necessity for the Honorable

Court to enjoin and/or restrain respondents and/or any person acting on their behalf from implementing the Cybercrime Iraw

including the assailed provisions therein, since there

is

an

immediate and pressing danger that constitutional rights of
citizens

will be violated in their implementation and individuals

may be unjustly prosecuted in their enforcement.

CONCLUDING STITTEMENT
never existed in a vacuum and continuously evolves

L,aw has

through time, as it should.
The freedom that the world wide web affords the individual is

often credited for the speed of its spread and reach resulting in its

phenomenal success that ushered the age of information. It has changed life as we know it. These individual freedoms enjoyed
through the advent of new technologry challenges our legal system

to establish norms to govern human behavior in the virtual world
as individuals traverse the information superhighway and inhabit

cyberspace. In any civilized society, chaos, whether in the real

world or the virtual world, must never reign. The RuIe of Law is
essential in our physical world as it is in cyberspace.

as

However, the questioned provisions clearly show how the
establishment of such norms should not be done. We join others in standing against a statute that fails to strike a balance between the
56

promotion of the general welfare and our individual freedoms. We

express our dissent against measures that allow the State to discriminate against netizens while grranting itself broad and

sweeping powers

to the detriment of the inalienable and

fundamental rights that we have resenred for ourselves under our Constitution.

With information technology that has become pervasive in

most people's lives and a judiciary that

is relying on new

technologies and the power of ICT as an important piece of its reform agenda, we come before the Honorable Court seeking that the questioned provisions be thoroughly examined to determine
whether they pass constitutional muster.

All these for the Rnle of Law.
PRAI'ER

WHEREFORE,
Honorable Court that:

it is most respectfully prayed of

the

L 2.

The instant Petition be GIVEN DUE COURSE.

Upon the filing of the instant Petition, a TEMPORARY

RESTRAINING ORDER and,/or WRIT Of PRELIMINARY IN[UNCTION be ISSAED restraining and/or enjoining
respondents, as well as all persons acting in their behalf, from implementing and./or enforcing Sections 4(c)(4), 5, 6, 7, 12 and
Prevention Act of 2OI2".
19

of Republic Act No, 10175, otherwise known as the "Cybercrime

57

3.

After due consideration on the merits, that:

(a)

The questioned provisions under Sections

4(c)(4), 5, 6, 7, 12 and 19 of Republic Act No. 10175,
otherwise known as the "Cybercrime Prevention Act of

2012" be DECI'ARED NALL AND VOfi, for being
unconstitutional; and

(b)

The respondents, as well as all the persons

acting in their behalf, be PERNIANENTLV ENIOINED

from implementing the questioned provisions

of

Sections 4(c)(4), 5, 6, 7, 12 and 19 of Republic Act No.
10175, otherwise known as the "Cybercrime Prevention

Act of 2012".

Other reliefs, just and equitable under the premises are
likewise prayed for.
Pasig City for the City of Manila, Metro Manila, 05 October 20r2.

RODEL A. CRUZ Counsel for Pditioner Philippine Bar./lssociation, Inc. Suite 347 Valero Plaza 124 Valero Street, Salcedo Village Makati Gity 1200 Philippines
Tel. Nos: 815-3080; 813-5631 Fax Nos: 813-5631 PTR No. 1404663 - Ol/O2/12 - Tagruig City IBP Life Member RoIl No. 4208 - l0/Ol/02 - RSM RoII of Attorneys No. 38789 MCLE Compliance No. III - 0016454 - 05/13/10

-and58

SOLIS MEDINA I,IMPINGCO & fAIARDO r,f,W OTTTCES Counsel for Petitioner Philippine Bar Association, Inc. I106 East Tower Philippine Stock Exchange Centre Exchange Road, Ortigas Commercial Center Pasig City, Metro Manila Tel. No. (632) 634 6788 to 89

www.solismedina.com

RICO tr. TIMPINGCO
IBP No. 884070 -or/13/12 - GALIVII{NAVA Roll of Attorneys No. 42832 MCLE Compliance No. III - 0013348 - O3/30/2OLO

IIIR No. 7572509 -Ol/12/lZ - Pasig City

THUR ANTITT|TY S. ALICER PTR No. 7572513 - 0l/12/2QI2 - Pasig CitY IBP No. 88406? -01/13/2012 - Makati City RolI of Attorneys No. 56815 MCLE Compliance No. III-0010814 O3/20/2OLO

MI
PTR

No. 782 IBP No. 893

S. LAPUZ 12 - Pasig City l2 - Manila II

Admitted to the Bar in 2012

59

VERIFICATIONAND CERTIFICATION f,GAINST NON-FORUM SIIOPPING
office address at Unit I106 East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Exchange Road, Ortigas Business Center, Pasig City, after having been duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state that: I am the immediate Past President of the PHILIPPINE BAR A,SSOCIATION, INC. (the "A-ssociation"), the petitioner in the instant case; cause, as I have caused, the preparation and filing of the instant Petition, including the execution of this Verification and Certification Against Forum Shopping. Attached is a copy of the Secretary's Certificate evidencing my authority;

I, RONALD OLIVAR SOLIS, Filipino, of legal age, and with

1.

2.

I have been duly authorized by the Association to

have read and understood the contents of the foregoing Petition, and I attest that all the allegations contained

3.

I

therein are true and correct based on my own personal
knowledge and,/or authentic records;

certify that neither I, nor the Associatoin, have commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or different

4.

I

divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency and to the best of my knowledge, there is no such other action or claim pending therein.
Based on media reports, there are other petitioners who have filed petitions similar to the instant Petition' However, I nor the ,{.ssosiation are not parties to said petitions. If I should learn thereafter that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending before any other court, tribunal or quasijudicial agency, I shall notify or cause to notify the Honorable btti". of such fact within five (5) days from receipt of such

5.

lrrrowledge. OL,IVAR SOIJS

suBscRIBED AND ORN to before me this @- o"t of October 2012 in Makati City, Metro Manila, affiant presenting comPetent evidence of his identity, Driver's License No. N0t-12-007580, bearing his photograph and signature, issued bY the Land Transportation Office (l,TO)' with expiration <iate of July 14,2014.
Doc.

lt{0 PageNo. P BookNo. J
No.
Series of.2012.

';
;

i ., ri . -..01

!1,'l-' j ii '- , ii:, ' ,. i i. *t -hln^'l:.,.1 ()r'r, r i .rrr, r,:,tr..r!,Crly i; (1. iioir(rl .{:t :; rj!;.in :,l.li: .i,' P lii .lrll.1,/l_ll. t-,1,]ii[ Itl')i.'. l:1'' .',:- .,-i!il1rilrr.in60
I

iip,'.1'1 ,'1,1,r11 i, i i',.if i riv I r.lrl I) ,. :1"." ..',,ti

.1)

Copy Furnished (By Registered MaiI) Hrs ExcELLENCy PRESTDENT BENTGNO S. AQUTNO Office of the President Malacaffang Palace, Manila

m

HON. PAQI'TTO N. OCHOA,IR.
Executive Secretary Office of the Executive Secretary Malacaflang Palace, Manila

HON. I-'EILA M. DE LIMA Secretary Department of Justice Padre Faura St., Manila HON. LOUIS NAPOLEON C. CASAMBRE Executive Director Information and Communications Technolog-y Office National Computer Center (NCC) Building, C.P. Garcia Avenue U.P. Diliman, Quezon City
NONNATUS CAES.f,R R. ROJAS,

Director
National Bureau of Investigation NBI Compound, Taft Avenue, Manila
DIR^EGTOR GENERAL NICANOR A. BAR'TOLOIVIE Chief of the Philippine National Police
PNP Headguarters Camp Grame, EDSA, Quezon

City

OFTICE OF THE SOLICITOR GENERAL 143 Amorsolo Street Legaspi Village, Makati City WRITTEN EKPI-,ANtrTION

rOR SERVICE BY REGISTERED MAIL
The undersigned was unable to personally senre copies of the Petition to the above-named parties and was constrained to senre

the same by registered mail due to the numerous parties to be served in different locations and the lack of material time and
manpower to do so.

61

VERIEICATIONAND CERTIEICATION.EGAINST NON-FORIIM SHOPPING
office address at Unit I106 East Tower, Philippine Stock Exchange Centre, Exchange Road, Ortigas Business Genter, Pasig City, after having been duly sworn in accordance with law, hereby depose and state that:

I, RONALD OLMR SOLIS, Filipino, of legal age, and with

BAR .C,.SSOCIATION, INC. (the "Association"), the petitioner in the instant case;

L

I am the immediate Past President of the PHILIPPINE

cause, as I have caused, the preparation and filing of the instant Petition, including the execution of this Verilication and Certification Against Forum Shopping. Attached is a copy of the Secretary's Certificate evidencing my authority;

2.

I have been duly authorized by the Association to

have read and understood the contents of the foregoing Petition, and I attest that all the allegations contained therein are true and correct based on my own personal knowledge and./or authentic records;
have commenced any action or filed any claim involving the same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or different divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or agency and to the best of my knowledge, there is no such other action or claim pending therein.
Based on media reports, there are other petitioners who have filed petitions similar to the instant Petition. However, I

3.

I

4.

I certify that neither I, nor the Associatoin,

5.

nor the Association are not parties to said petitions. If I should Iearn thereafter that the same or similar action or claim has been filed or is pending before any other court, tribunal or quasijudicial agencyr I shall notify or cause to notify the Honorable Office of such fact within five (5) days from receipt of such knowledge.
OLrVAR SO Affiant V ,-lt. SUBSCRIBED AND S ORN to before me this lTl day of October 2012 in Makati City, Metro Manila, affiant presenting competent evidence of his identity, Driver's License No. N0l-12-007580, bearing his photograph and signature, issued by the Land Transportation Office (LTO), with expiration date of July 14,20L4.
Doc. No. Page No.

BookNo. Series of 2012.

tilb -s-T-

EDUARDO

ffz,an

D. GAANAN. -1:.

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