Decriminalizing Libel

The Supreme Court issued on 25 January a circular advising courts nationwide to impose fines rather than jail terms on persons convicted of libel. The circular states that judges “may, in the exercise of sound discretion and taking into consideration the peculiar circumstances of each case, determine whether the imposition of a fine alone would best serve the interests of justice or whether forbearing to impose imprisonment would depreciate the seriousness of the offense, work violence on the social order, or otherwise be contrary to the imperatives of justice.” This means that although there is no strict order for the judge to impose only a fine, the “prevailing view” of the High Court was that the imposition of fines was preferred over jail terms. There are moves by legislators, too, to totally decriminalize libel and make it just a civil liability [which means, there will no longer be warrants of arrest involved!].

6 thoughts on “Decriminalizing Libel”

  1. “GOD IS GOOD”… my spy revealed to me what she overheard lolit solis was saying as she completed her lakad-luhod at quiapo church. later she was seen talking and handing a crisp 5K PHP to a mandadasal for favours granted…

  2. RD, hindi ako makapagsend ng email sa yahoo account mo. i just want to let you know… baka kasi nag tataka ka kasi wala na nag eemail sayo

  3. It was not the Supreme Court who issued the Circular regarding libel! It was Sec. Puno….who taught that he had the power to do so…..This is why congress and the supreme court was giving the circular a cold shoulder….The effect of power really makes other thinks they could do anything…..

  4. Filipinos are well-known all over the world to be libelous and number 1 gossipers anyway (I’m not claiming to be clean). I guess this proposition only means more money from offenders and less respect for repercussions of our malicious actions…

  5. The Supreme Court issued Administrative Circular No. 08-2008 Friday last week, that urges judges to prefer imposing fines over prison terms when handing down libel convictions.

  6. how do they handle “libelous” comments written in blogs like this? existing laws are blurred… we all have our share of bitchy, perception-based remarks on showbiz wannabes but since we are online vs print mainstream publications, our statements here are unnoticed. but maybe, the risk comes when someone cuts-and-pastes comments from here and prints them as excerpts in local tabloids….

    this is just a thought…hey, we don’t have the bandwidth to solve this. next post please.

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