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October 2, 2012
Computer school to sanction students for ‘cyber libel’, text message

By JOAN GARCIA
Bulatlat.com

VIGAN CITY, Ilocos Sur –In what appears to be a portent of things to come with the enactment of the Cybercrime law, students from the Data Center College of the Philippines-Vigan have been threatened with a libel case and disciplinary action from their school due to a group text message and posts in their Facebook group, Tropang Data.

The group, which was created last year, already has 172 members up to this date. It was created by students from the DCCP-Vigan as a way of faster communication amongst themselves and to better acquaint themselves with their schoolmates.

The posts are typical of college students- teasing about their crushes and the latest news on campus. However, recent events and the flurry of questioning posts seemed to have reached the campus administration.

Last September 18-22 was the Intramurals for the school with a Ms. DCCP-Vigan pageant on the last night. The fee that was collected for the activity amounted to P500 per student with P100 allotted for the tickets during pageant night.

However, during the pageant itself, no ticket was collected from the audience and the show was opened for free viewing.

Students then trooped to their Facebook group and cell phones to express their disappointment.

Cyber libel

The first post regarding the pageant was posted before the day of the event itself. The student was asking what the penalty is for those who would not be able to attend since the pageant was scheduled to start at 6p.m. and end at 12 midnight.

Other posts soon followed.

By Monday, September 24, the students who posted and even those who commented and liked the posts were asked to appear before the College Administrator’s office. Those who sent text messages were also summoned.

Jan Garcia, a 2nd year BSIT student of DCCP-Vigan, was one of those called by the school administration.

According to Garcia, the College Administrator Mrs. Luzviminda Quilenderino said they could be charged with libel and asked him to have his lawyer ready. Garcia then explained that they were merely voicing out their opinion.

Garcia added that Quilenderino also said that the alumni who commented and liked the posts in the group would not be given their Official Transcript of Records.

Garcia was also told that he would be suspended since it is already his second offense. The first offense was supposedly because of a previous Facebook post regarding the Student Council elections.

Threatened with expulsion

Another student, Darwin Bañaga, is also facing disciplinary action because of the supposed group text message that he sent on the night of the pageant.

In the text, Bañaga questioned where the money paid for the tickets went.

During the first meeting with Quilenderino, Bañaga was told that the text message was below the belt and that if they want, they can report him to the police.

Last September 27, Thursday, Bañaga was given an option whether he would prefer a 10 day suspension provided he issues a publicly apology and write a promisorry note or face expulsion.

Due to fear, Bañaga chose the suspension and was made to sign a statement that was supposedly made by him.

However, in the statement, it was written that instead of the text message, Bañaga supposedly said it out loud in front of the Head of Student Affairs and a security guard.

The next day, despite signing the paper that was given to him, the administration still informed him that him will be expelled from the school.

Cybercrime law

Terry Ridon, national president and legal counsel of Kabataan Partylist explained that this is the reason why the partylist group opposes the Cybercrime Prevention Law especially the provision on libel.

“Facebook, although it is a social networking site, is still a personal venue for individuals especially the students to voice out their grievances without restrictions. Their conversations in their group are as private as them talking in person about the issues in their school. To file a case against them on the basis of their posts is tantamount to silencing them”, Ridon said.

Ridon added that the partylist group will question the validity of the Cybercrime Prevention Law even if it has to reach the Supreme Court. (http://bulatlat.com)

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25 thoughts on “Computer school to sanction students for ‘cyber libel’, text message

  1. iparating ito sa ched habang maaga pa. at pati na rin sa Kabataan Partylist upang maaksyonan.

  2. ano ito??? i-eexpel dahil lang sa ganoon?? dahil ba nagtatanong lang sila kung nasaan ang pera?? natural hahanapi nila sapagkat karamihan sa kanila ay hindi galing sa kanila ang pera kundi sa kanilang mga magulang. at ang mga kabataang ito din ay humihingi lamang ng pagpapaliwanag upang mapaliwanag din nila ng maayos sa kanilang magulang. At ngayon aakusahan sila ng paglabag sa batas?? At anong klaseng administration meron ang eskwelahang ito para gawin ito sa mga kabataan at estudyante. Dapat sila ang parusahan hindi ang mga estudyanteng humihingi lamang ng paliwanag. Ano na ba ang nangyayari sa ating bansa. Gumising tayo mga kabataan! Huwag nating hayaang lapastanganin na lang ang ating karapatan! Ibahagi ito sa iba upang sila rin ay mamulat! ipaglaban ang karapatan ng estudyante at ng mga Kabataan!

  3. Pingback: AnimalFarm.org » RT @7qube: RT @7qube: Students get sanctioned in Vigan City because of FB posts @gmanews #NoToCyberCrimeLaw #Anonymous http://t.co/s5bTQB1z

  4. Nakakahiyang skwelahan, advise ko lang sa maga studyante na ginawan ng kawalanghiayaan ng skwelahan na to punta kayo sa CHED at isumbong ang mga pinaggagawa ng Mrs. Luzviminda Quilenderino na yan, karapatan nyo na questionin kung bakit kayo nagbabayad ng hangin, pinapakita lang nga tao na yan na mukhang pera sya. Shame on you huwag kang mangurakot sa mga studyante.

  5. siguro tama nga sila. dapat lunukin na lang natin ang lahat at wag na tayong pumalag. pag ninakawan ka, at nagbigay ka ng hinaing at pagkwestyon gamit ang text at peysbuk, tama lang talaga maparusahan ka ng ating bagong bagong batas na e-libel. kinwestyon mo pa kase e. hindi ka nalang kase namaluktot jan at nanahimik pagkatapos mo manakawan. take note. school palang to. ngayon pwede na rin tayo makasuhan ng ganito ng mga pulitikong magnanakaw den. welcome sa tuwid na daan pilipinas! dito tayo sa daang hindi baluktot. salamat kina noynoy and sotto. yey! ^_^

  6. Pingback: Philippines news: Statement of the 15th Graciano Lopez Jaena Community Journalism Fellows on the Cybercrime Law | Pinas news library

  7. abuse?
    Bakit naman kayo magpapa-abuso?

    If you don’t like how the school is handled, leave the school. If you were threatened to go to court, then go to court. In this way, mas makikita ang mga mali ng paaralan.

  8. Simple lang..susunod na enrolment or semester,,wag n kayong magenrol dyan…hindi lang naman yan and school!teach them a lesson!abubuhay ang isang paaralan dahil may mga studyanteng gusto pumasok dyan!

  9. Ng graduate ako sa Data Center Baguio,…now nakikita ko ito nahihiya ako sa alam mater ko..nasaan ang student rights nya,,whats the point merong student council pa kung hindi naman pinpakingggan ng admin!Mr.Bactad gumising po kau…

  10. This is among many reasons why I also stand against the cyber crime law. As a blogger, I find it odd to use this said law to harass those students who have legitimate grievances on the management of the school and these threats are serious and contributes trauma on their lives as students.

    This lead me to ask:

    Is asking and discussing the entrance fee sought and the fact that there was no ticket given to the students, tantamount to libel?

    These are legitimate grievances that has to be answered point blank. Is it because they students aired their side and grievances on their FB page then they will be threatened by this, worse, using this law?

    It is rather unfortunate that we see lives of ordinary Filipinos being altered after the passage of this law yet we have not muster enough courage to correct the flaws the law brings into.

  11. I would very much want to hear this in the national news so that the public can beat the crap out of this unconstitutional cybercrime law. Pag takot ka na magsalita, may problema na ang batas.

  12. Now tyrants, big and small are coming out of the woodwork! Let’s not stand for this. Spread this everywhere, post it, like it, share it, let the public say their piece against tyrants who abuse this unconstitutional cybercrime law. Let’s support those victimized by such tyranny. These tyrants may have the law on their side, but they will have the people against them. Let’s see them try suing the tens of thousands who will rise up against them online.

  13. Yan na nga ang nakakatakot na posibleng kalalabasan kapag vague ung batas. Kahit na sabihin natin na oo pede magfile ng kaso. Pero di natin nakikita yung anggulo na may kakayahan ka ba para dalhin sa korte yan? Kahit saan mo titingnan, gagastos ka para pagtanggol sarili mo. So ang lalabas nyan, di ka na lng magvoice out para walang kaso. Lalo na matatakot ang mga tao ngayon. Tsk tsk tsk

  14. they weren’t even voicing their opinion! they’re just asking a question and yet they were threatened and possibly be expelled! what if they have said what they thought? what if they have wrote negative comments? anong magiging parusa nila? black listed? tanong lang yan pero ganyan na. pano pa pag negative opinion na ang binitawan nila? tapos sasabihin nyo samin ngayon na ang mga irresponsible netizens lang ang dapat matakot? shame on you

  15. It is very disappointing that a school administration would do this to its students. What is their oppressive action proving to the student body?

    Clearly DCCP-Vigan has very little grasp of what constitutes libel or of what the Cybercrime Law covers, even as it stands. Legitimate redress is not libelous.

    It would seem that the school is using the new law as a way to scare their students into silence. Shame on you, DCCP-Vigan!

  16. Fight for it! Kung walang maling ginawa dapat managot ang eskwelahan.What is CHEd doing about this? Kahit magkasuhan na sa korte so be it.

  17. This is already a primary example of what’s bound to happen if that cyber crime act would not be TRASHED for good.

    Abuse of power!

  18. Pingback: Cybercrime law takes effect October 3 amid broad protests - Bulatlat

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