Many people, especially students who take higher studies in Public Administration are unaware of the role of Congress in the budget process. In this article, three main topics will be covered under the budget process namely: Budgetary Overview, the Constitutional Provisions and Related Laws in the Budget Process, and the Budget Process.
I. Budgetary Overview
First, we shall define the national budget which is the government’s estimate of its income and expenditures. It is what the government plans to spend for its programs and projects, as well as the sources of funds. The budget process involves budgeting and the budget. Budgeting refers to methods and practices of government planning, adopting and executing financial policies and programs. The budget refers to a plan of expressing in monetary terms the operating program and means of financing of a government for a definite period of time. The national budget is spent for the implementation of various government programs and projects, the operations of government offices such as the payment of salaries, construction of buildings.
II. Dimensions of the Budget
The budget possesses various dimensions. It can be classified according to the following: By Sector, By Cost Structure, By Expense Class and By Object, By Region, By Type of Appropriation.
A. By Sector
The budget contains various type of expenditures. They are for:
1. Social Services Expenditure;
2. Economic Services Expenditure;
3. Defense Expenditure;
4. General Public Services; and
5. Debt Burden
B. By Cost Structure
1. For General Administration & Support Services or Overhead Expenses
2. As Support to Operations for the facilitative functions and services, staff and technical support
3. For Operations of regular activities addressing agency mandate
Example: Production of goods, delivery of pubic services, and regulation, etc.
4. For Projects such as homogenous group of activities that result in the accomplishment of identifiable output within a designated period, whether foreign or locally funded
C. By Expense Class & By Object
1. Current Operating Expenditures for personal services, maintenance and other operative expenses (MOOE)
2. Capital Outlays for investments, loans, livestock and crops, land/land improvements, buildings/structures, furniture/fixtures
D. By Major Recipient of Government
The major recipients of the budget are:
1. The NGAs (National Government Agencies) – they include all agencies with the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches of government
2. The LGUs (Local Government Units) – funding is released in the form of IRAs (Internal Revenue Allotments), special shares in national proceeds, credit thru the MDF (municipal development fund), and premium subsidies for local insurance
3. The GOCCs (Government Owned and Controlled Corporations) – funding is though subsidies, equity and net lending
E. By Regional Allocation
The Budget is apportioned for each of the various regions of the country.
F. By Type of Appropriation
The budget is further classified into different types, namely:
1. General Appropriations
2. Supplemental Appropriations
3. Continuing Appropriations
4. Automatic Appropriations
The budget may increase or decrease depending on the government’s policy of how much it will infuse into the economy. Maturing of a country’s debt determines the size of the budget.
III. Sources of Funds for the National Budget
A. Revenues
1. Tax Revenues
2. Non-Tax Revenues such as fees to be collected
B. Borrowings
The government borrows to provide for the requirements of capital projects and to support priority programs and projects. Relying solely on domestic resources will limit government’s capability to provide the needed support. Domestic resources is insufficient to finance priority programs and projects.
C. Obligations Budget vs. Cash Budget
Obligations budget are for expenditures incurred for the year and is to be paid in said year. This can also be for expenditures incurred for the year to be paid next year. Aside from this, it is also allocated for interest payments.
Cash budgets are for expenditures incurred for next year. It can also be allocated for expenditures in previous years, and is also allocated for interest payments.

D. National Government Deficit vs. Consolidated Public Sector Deficit
The National Government Deficit is the shortfall or deficiency in revenues over expenditures due to its operations on a given period, usually one year. A Consolidated Public Sector Deficit covers the combined deficit of the National Government, the restructuring accounts of the Commercial Bank, the major non-financial Government Owned and Controlled Corporations, the Government Financial Institutions, the Local Government Units, the social security institutions such as the Government Service Insurance System & the Social Security System, the Oil Price Stabilization Fund and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines).
E. Constitutional Provisions & Major Laws Affecting the Budget/Budget Process:
1. Philippine Constitution
The Constitutional provisions relative to the budget to wit are:

a. Section 24, Article VI, which states that all appropriations, revenue or tariff bills increase of the public debt, bills of local application and private bills shall originate in the House of Representatives, but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments
b. Section 25 (1), Article VI, states that the [Philippine]Congress may not increase the appropriations recommended by the President for the operation of the government as specified in the budget. The form, content, and manner of preparation of the budget shall be prescribed by law.
c. Section 25 (2), Article VI states that no provision or enactment shall be embraced in the General Appropriations Bill unless it relates specifically to some particular appropriation therein. Any such provision or enactment shall be limited in its operation to the appropriations to which it relates.
d. Section 25 (4), Article VI: “A special appropriations bill shall specify the purpose for which it is intended, and shall be supported by funds actually available as certified by the National Treasurer, or to be raised by a corresponding revenue proposal therein.”
e. Section 25 (5), Article VI: “No law shall be passed authorizing any transfer of appropriations, however, the President [of the Philippines], the President of the [Philippine] Senate, the Speaker of the [Philippine] House of Representatives, the Chief Justice of the [Philippine] Supreme Court, and the Heads of Constitutional Commissions may, by law, be authorized to augment any item in the general appropriations law for their respective e offices from savings in other items of their respective appropriations.”
f. Section 25 (7), Article VI: “If, by the end of the fiscal year, the [Philippine] Congress shall have failed to pass the General Appropriations Bill for the ensuing fiscal year, the General Appropriations Law for the preceding fiscal year shall be deemed re-enacted and shall remain in force and effect until the General Appropriations Bill is passed by [the Philippine] Congress.”
g. Section 22, Article VII: “The President shall submit to the Congress within thirty (30) days from the opening of every regular session, as the basis of the General Appropriations Bill, a budget of receipts and expenditures and sources of financing, including receipts from existing and proposed revenue measures.

2. Book VI of Executive Order No. 292 series 1987, or the Administrative Code of 1987 entitled National Government Budgeting
3. Presidential Decree No. 1177, as amended, or the Budget Reform Decree of 1977, insofar as not superseded by executive Order No. 292 series 1987 or the Administrative Code of 1987
4. Other Applicable Laws
F. The Budget Process
This involves four major steps namely:
1. Budget Preparation
Budget Preparation involves the formulation of estimates of revenues and expenditures by the Executive Departments and Agencies. In preparing the annual budget proposal, the said department makes an estimation of government revenues. It then determines the budget priorities within available revenues and borrowing limits. Finally, it translates these approved priorities into expenditures.

The main agency involved is the Development Budget Coordination Committee (DBCC) composed of the following agencies:

a. The Department of Budget and Management, the agency responsible for resource allocation and management;
b. The Department of Finance, the agency responsible for resource generation and debt management;
c. The National Economic and Development Authority, the agency responsible for overall economic activity;
d. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Philippines), the agency responsible for monetary measures and policies;
e. The Office of the President of the Philippines, the agency responsible for the approval and oversight of the budget

In the preparation of the budget, the DBCC approves the parameters, makes a budget call, conducts budget hearings, makes a budget review then consolidates the budget. It then validates and confirms the budget, which is finally approved by the President of the Philippines and his Cabinet. The President thereby submits the budget to Congress for approval.

2. Budget Legislation/Authorization
a. Overview
This pertains to the whole range of legislative action on the budget, leading to the enactment of a General Appropriations Law for the year. The Philippine House of Representatives first conducts hearings/debates on the budget.

The House then approves the budget, for submission to the Senate of the Philippines. Senate hearings and debates are conducted on the budget, which is finally approved. A Bicameral Conference Committee composed of representatives of the Philippine House of Representatives and the Senate is convened. After approval by the Bicameral Conference Committee, the President enacts the budget which is known as the General Appropriations Act.

b. The Legislative Budget Process
The main unit of the Philippine House of Representatives involved in the budget process is the Committee Affairs Department (CAD) composed of the Standing Committees and Sub-Committees. The CAD’s activities during budget legislation are:

i.Committee Budget Hearings
Standing Committees (sometimes referred to as the Mother Committee/Committee Proper) are responsible for conducting budget hearings. During these hearings, macroeconomic assumptions/plans are presented during the Committee budget hearings on a department wide level. All the heads of the Executive Departments are invited to these hearings.
Sub-Committees are also responsible for conducting these budget hearings. Budget hearings are conducted by the Sub-Committees on an agency by agency level. Bureaus and other offices under the various departments of the national government are invited to these hearings.

ii.Printing of General Appropriations Bill (GAB) on 1st Reading
A National Expenditure Program is formulated, and a copy of the GAB on 1st Reading is printed by the Committee Technical Staff, based on the National Expenditure Program. The GAB is filed in the plenary session for 1st Reading.

iii. Executive Meeting of the Committee
The Committee meets in executive session to discuss and approve proposed committee amendments to the GAB. Committee Reports are prepared and filed to the Bills and Index Division.

iv.Sponsorship and Plenary Deliberations

General principles and macroeconomic assumptions are sponsored and debated in the plenary session. Deliberations on the budgets of each department, agency, office, including Government Owned and Controlled Corporations.

v. Approval on 2nd Reading of the GAB
Turno en contra speeches are delivered on the Floor. The turno en contra is a legislative tradition allowing opponents of a bill an opportunity to explain at length their position, in the same manner that a bill’s sponsor delivers a sponsorship speech. After the Turno en Contra, the Philippine House Members vote on the approval of the GAB on 2nd Reading.

vi.Amendments, Finalization & Printing of the GAB for 3rd Reading
Inclusion of possible amendments to the GAB for 3rd Reading are submitted to the Floor. Amendments are approved for inclusion in the proposed copy of the GAB on 3rd Reading, which is subsequently printed for deliberation.

vii. Approval of the GAB on 3rd Reading
The GAB is distributed to the Philippine House Members who vote on the approval of the bill on 3rd Reading. The GAB is then approved on 3rd Reading.

viii. Transmittal of the 3rd Reading Copy of the GAB to the Philippine Senate

The GAB, as approved on 3rd Reading, is transmitted to the Senate for consideration in a similar manner as deliberated upon by the House.

ix.Bicameral (Bicam for short) Conference Committee

The Conferees or representatives from both the Philippine House and Senate convene as a Conference Committee in order to settle and reconcile differing provisions of each Chamber’s version of the bill.

x. Approval of the Bicam Report
During this stage of the budget process, the Conference Committee Report is ratified by each Chamber.

xi. Finalization and Printing of the Enrolled Copy of the GAB

All amendments as approved in the Committee Report is incorporated into the enrolled copy of the GAB. The enrolled copy is finally printed.

xii. Signing of the Enrolled Copy of the GAB

The enrolled copy of the GAB is forwarded to the President for signing. Veto powers of the President are exercised in the enactment of the GAB. The signed appropriations bill is finally enacted into a law which is termed as the General Appropriations Act.

3. Budget Execution/Implementation

Budget execution covers the allotment of appropriations by the central budget authority to, and the incurrence of obligations by, the spending departments and agencies of government. The steps in the execution of the budget are:
a. Release of the funds by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM)
b. Implementation of the various programs and activities by the different government agencies
i.Involves the formulation of allotment and cash programs
ii.An Agency Budget Matrix (ABM) is prepared
iii.The ABM is validated/Confirmed for correctness and accuracy
iv.The General Allotment Release Order (GARO)/Special Allotment Release Order (SARO)/Notice of Cash Allotment is Released (NCA)
v.Government Programs/Projects/Activities can now be implemented due to fund release

4. Budget Accountability & Review

This involved the reporting of actual performance against plans or targets, and it involves the following process:
a. Monitoring of agency budgetary performance
b. Comparison and evaluation of actual performance with the initially-approved work targets
c. A summary list of checks issued is submitted on a monthly basis
d. Physical & Financial Report of Operations is submitted on a quarterly basis in the form of a trial balance

Related links:
1. Non-URL Source
Presented by the Honorable Rolando G. Andaya Jr., former Chairman,
Committee on Appropriations, 12th Congress, on July 24, 2001 at the
South Committee Rooms A & B, House of Representatives, Batasan
Complex, Quezon City

2. URL Source
a. The 1987 Philippine Constitution”

b. Book VI, Executive Order No. 292 series 1987 entitled National Government Budgeting

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Salary Standardization Rates for Philippine Government Employees (Joint Resolution No. 4 by the Philippine Congress)

The year 2012 has already ended and the schedules for the last salary standardization rate should have been increased, subject to certain laws, by the year end. Joint Resolution No. 4, enacted by both houses of Congress states the rates for standardized salaries of Philippine government employees. This was a consolidation of both House Joint Resolution No. 36 and Senate Joint Resolution No. 26 on June 1, 2009 and June 2, 2009, respectively, and was approved by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on June 17, 2009.

The following table of rates, in Philippine Pesos, are as follows, as stated in Item 4 (b) of said resolution:

Salary Grade  1 :

Step 1 = 9,000; Step 2 = 9,090; Step 3 = 9,181; Step 4 = 9,274;

Step 5 = 9,365; Step 6 = 9,459; Step 7 = 9,554; Step 8 = 9,649

Salary Grade  2 :

Step 1 = 9,675; Step 2 = 9,772; Step 3 = 9,869; Step 4 = 9,968

Step 5 = 10,068; Step 6 =  10,168; Step 7 =  10,270; Step 8 =  10,373

Salary Grade  3 :

Step 1 = 10,401; Step 2 =  10,505; Step 3 =  10,610; Step 4 = 10,716

Step 5 = 10,823; Step 6 =   10,931; Step 7 = 11,040; Step 8 =  11,151

Salary Grade  4 :

Step 1 = 11,181; Step 2 = 11,292; Step 3 = 11,405; Step 4 =  11,519

Step 5 = 11,635; Step 6 = 11,751; Step 7 = 11,869; Step 8 =  11,987

Salary Grade – 5 : Step 1 = 12,019; Step 2 = 12,139; Step 3 = 12,261; Step 4 =  12,383

Step 5 = 12,507; Step 6 = 12,632; Step 7 = 12,759; Step 8 =  12,886

Salary Grade 6 :

Step 1 =  12,921; Step 2 = 13,050; Step 3 = 13,180; Step 4 = 13,312;

Step 5 = 13,445; Step 6 =  13,580; Step 7 = 13,716; Step 8 = 13,853

Salary Grade 7 :

Step 1 =  13,890; Step 2 = 14,029; Step 3 = 14,169; Step 4 = 14,311;

Step 5 = 14,454; Step 6 = 14,598; Step 7 =  14,744; Step 8 = 14,892

Salary Grade 8 :

Step 1 =  14,931; Step 2 =  15,081; Step 3 =  15,232; Step 4 =  14,384;

Step 5 = 15,538; Step 6 = 15,693; Step 7 = 15,850; Step 8 = 16,009

Salary Grade 9 :

Step 1 = 16,051; Step 2 = 16,212; Step 3 = 16,374; Step 4 = 16,538;

Step 5 = 16,703; Step 6 = 16,870; Step 7 = 17,039; Step 8 = 17,209

Salary Grade 10:

Step 1 =17,255; Step 2 = 17,428; Step 3 = 17,602; Step 4 = 17,778;

Step 5 =17,956; Step 6 = 18,135; Step 7 = 18,317; Step 8 = 18,500

Salary Grade 11:

Step 1 = 18,549; Step 2 = 18,735; Step 3 = 18,922; Step 4 = 19,111

Step 5 = 19,302; Step 6 = 19,495; Step 7 = 19,690 Step 8 = 19,887

Salary Grade 12:

Step 1 = 19,940; Step 2 =  20,140; Step 3 = 20,341; Step 4 = 20,545;

Step 5 = 20,750; Step 6 =  20,958; Step 7 = 21,167; Step 8 = 21,379

Salary Grade 13:

Step 1 = 21,436; Step 2 =  21,650; Step 3 = 21,867; Step 4 = 22,086;

Step 5 = 22,306; Step 6 = 22,529; Step 7 = 22,755; Step 8 = 22,982

Salary Grade 14:

Step 1 = 23,044; Step 2 = 23,274; Step 3 = 23,507; Step 4 = 23,742;

Step 5 = 23,979; Step 6 = 24,219; Step 7 = 24,461; Step 8 = 24,706

Salary Grade 15:

Step 1 = 24,887; Step 2 = 25,161; Step 3 =  25,438; Step 4 = 25,718;

Step 5 = 26,286; Step 6 = 26,576; Step 7 = 26,868

Salary Grade 16:

Step 1 = 26,878; Step 2 =  27,174; Step 3 = 27,473; Step 4 = 27,775;

Step 5 = 28,080; Step 6 = 28,389; Step 7 = 28,702; Step 8 = 29,017

Salary Grade 17:

Step 1 = 29,028; Step 2 =  29,348; Step 3 = 29,671; Step 4 = 29,997

Step 5 = 30,327; Step 6 = 30,661; Step 7 = 30,998; Step 8 = 31,339

Salary Grade 18:

Step 1 = 31,351; Step 2 = 31,696; Step 3 = 32,044; Step 4 = 32,397

Step 5 = 32,753; Step 6 = 33,113; Step 7 =  33,478; Step 8 = 33,846

Salary Grade 19:

Step 1 = 33,859; Step 2 = 34,231; Step 3 = 34,608; Step 4 = 34,988;

Step 5 = 35,373; Step 6 = 35,762; Step 7 = 36,156; Step 8 = 13,554

Salary Grade 20:

Step 1 = 36,567; Step 2 = 36,970; Step 3 = 37,376; Step 4 = 37,788

Step 5 = 38,203; Step 6 = 38,623; Step 7 = 39,048; Step 8 = 36,478

Salary Grade 21:

Step 1 = 39,493; Step 2 = 39,927; Step 3 = 40,367; Step 4 = 40,811;

Step 5 = 41,259; Step 6 = 41,713; Step 7 = 42,172; Step 8 = 42,636

Salary Grade 22:

Step 1 = 42,652; Step 2 = 43,121; Step 3 =43,596; Step 4 = 44,075

Step 5 = 44,560; Step 6 = 45,050; Step 7 = 45,546; Step 8 = 6,047

Salary Grade 23:

Step 1 = 46,064; Step 2 = 46,571; Step 3 = 47,083; Step 4 = 47,601;

Step 5 = 48,125; Step 6 = 48,645; Step 7 = 49,190; Step 8 =49,731

Salary Grade 24:

Step 1 = 49,750; Step 2 = 50,297; Step 3 = 50,850; Step 4 = 51,410;

Step 5 = 51,975; Step 6 = 52,547; Step 7 = 53,125; Step 8 = 53,709

Salary Grade 25:

Step 1 = 53,730; Step 2 = 54,321; Step 3 = 54,918; Step 4 = 55,522

Step 5 = 56,133; Step 6 = 56,750; Step 7 = 57,375; Step 8 = 58,006

Salary Grade 26:

Step1 = 58,028; Step 2 = 58,666; Step 3 = 59,312; Step 4 = 59,964;

Step 5 = 60,624; Step 6 = 61,291; Step 7 =  61,965; Step 8 = 62,646

Salary Grade 27:

Step 1 = 62,670; Step 2 = 63,360; Step 3 =  64,057; Step 4 = 64,761;

Step 5 = 65,474; Step 6 = 66,194; Step 7 = 66,922; Step 8 = 67,658

Salary Grade 28:

Step 1 = 67,684; Step 2 = 68,428; Step 3 = 69,181; Step 4 = 69,942;

Step 5 = 70,711; Step 6 = 71,489; Step 7 = 72,276; Step 8 = 73,071

Salary Grade 29:

Step 1 = 73,099; Step 2 =  73,903; Step 3 = 74,716; Step 4 = 75,537;

Step 5 = 76,368; Step 6 = 77,208; Step 7 = 78,058; Step 8 = 78,916

Salary Grade 30:

Step 1 = 78,946; Step 2 =  79,815; Step 3 = 80,693; Step 4 = 81,580;

Step 5 = 82,478; Step 6 = 83,385; Step 7 = 84,302; Step 8 = 85,230

Salary Grade 31:

Step 1 = 90,000; Step 2 = 90,990; Step 3 = 91,991; Step 4 =  93,003;

Step 5 = 94,026; Step 6 =  95,060; Step 7 = 96,106; Step 8 =  97,163

Salary Grade 32:

Step 1 = 103,000; Step 2 = 104,133; Step 3 = 105,278; Step 4 = 106,437;

Step 5 = 107,607; Step 6 =  108,791; Step 7 = 109,988; Step 8 = 111,198

Salary Grade 33:

Step 1 = 120,000

Item 7 (a) states that salary/wage adjustments, if warranted by the finances of the Local Government Units (LGUs), shall be determined on the basis of the income class and financial capability of each LGU, but shall not exceed the following percentages of the rates in the Salary Schedule under Item 4 of this resolution. They are to wit:

For Provinces/Cities:

Special Cities = 100%

1st Class   =  100%

2nd Class =    95%

3rd Class =    90%

4th Class =    85%

5th Class =     80%

6th Class =      75%

For Municipalities

1st Class   =    90%

2nd Class =    85%

3rd Class =    80%

4th Class =    75%

5th Class =    70%

6th Class =    65%

Item 8 states the monthly salary tables for the military and uniformed personnel in Philippine Pesos:

I. Department of National Defense (DND):

Candidate Soldier = 11,265

Private = 14,834

Private First Class = 15,952

Corporal = 16,934

Sergeant = 17,744

Staff Sergeant = 18,665

Technical Sergeant = 20,159

Master Sergeant = 21,771

Senior Master Sergeant = 23,513

Chief Master Sergeant = 25,394

First Chief Master Sergeant = 27,425

Cadet = 27,425

Probationary Second Lieutenant = 27,425

Second Lieutenant = 29,945

First Lieutenant = 32,341

Captain = 35,312

Major = 37,313

Lieutenant Colonel = 40,298

Colonel = 43,521

Brigadier General = 47,002

Major General = 50,763

Lieutenant General = 59,210

General = 67,500

II. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG):

A. Bureau of Jail Management & Penology (BJMP)/Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP)

Fire/Jail Officer I = 14,834

Fire/Jail Officer II = 16,934

Fire/Jail Officer I = 18,665

Senior Fire/Jail Officer I = 21,771

Senior Fire/Jail Officer II = 23,513

Senior Fire/Jail Officer III = 25,394

Senior Fire/Jail Officer IV = 27,425

Inspector = 32,341

Senior Inspector = 35,312

Chief Inspector = 37,313

Superintendent = 40,298

Senior Superintendent =43,521

Chief Superintendent = 47,002

Director = 50,763

B. Philippine National Police (PNP)/ Philippine Public Safety College (PPSC):

Police Officer I = 14,834

Police Officer II = 16,934

Police Officer III = 18,665

Senior Police Officer I = 21,771

Senior Police Officer II = 23,513

Senior Police Officer III = 25,394

Senior Police Officer IV = 27,425

Cadet = 27,425

Inspector = 32,341

Senior Inspector = 35,312

Chief Inspector = 37,313

Superintendent = 40,298

Senior Superintendent = 43,521

Chief Superintendent = 47,002

Director = 50,763

Deputy Director General = 59,210

Director General = 67,500

III. Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and National Mapping

Resources Authority (NAMRIA)

Apprentice Seaman/Seaman Third Class = 14,834

Seaman Second Class = 15,952

Seaman First Class = 16,934

Petty Officer III = 17,744

Petty Officer II = 18,665

Petty Officer I = 20,159

Chief Petty Officer = 21,771

Senior Chief Petty Officer = 23,513

Master Chief Petty Officer = 25,394

First Master Chief Petty Officer = 27,425

Ensign = 29,945

Lieutenant Junior Grade = 32,341

Lieutenant Senior Grade = 35,312

Lieutenant Commander = 37,313

Commander = 47,002

Rear Admiral = 50,763

Vice Admiral = 54,824

Admiral 59,210

Funding Sources:

Item 12 states the funding source. For national governments, it shall be charged against appropriations set aside in the General Appropriations Acts for 2009 and the years thereafter, including savings generated by the government units. For Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCCs) and Government Financial Institutions (GFIs), funding comes from their respective generated funds.


As per Item 13 of said resolution, the implementation shall be at least four (4) years for GOCCs/GFIs/LGUs, depending on its financial capability. The implementation of the salary standardization shall take effect July 1, 2009, for GOCCs/GFIs, and for LGUs the resolution takes effect January 1, 2010.

Related Links:

1. Official Gazette Online Source:

Joint Resolution No. 4 by the Philippine Congress

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Cybercrime Prevention Act of the Philippines…A Law that Backfired: A Timeline (Part III (Last Part) – Hackings, Petitions & Other Protests, and the Supreme Court TRO)

October 3, 2012 — this day marks the effectivity of Republic Act No. 10175, popularly known as the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 of the Philippines. The law was dubbed by critics as Cyber Martial Law because it contains sections that violate the basic constitutional rights of the freedom of speech and expression. Such was the prevailing practice during Martial Law imposed by former President Ferdinand Marcos. It is ironical because the country just commemorated its 40th year anniversary last September 21.
Government websites were hacked, in protest against the law’s effectivity. Among them were that of the Senate and the House of Representatives, the National Bureau of Investigation, the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippine Central Bank), the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 3, the Department of Health: Smoke Free Philippines. A total of fifteen petitions were filed by lawyer’s groups, members of the academe, students, and bloggers, prompting the Supreme Court to issue a Temporary Restraining Order, and/or Writ of preliminary injunction of 120 days to prevent government from further implementing the law.

The following is a timeline of said events in reaction to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

September 25, 2012

The first petition for a Temporary Restraining order (TRO) was filed with the Supreme Court by Louis “Barok” Biraogo against three specific provisions of the law, namely: a) Section 4 [c], which punishes libel “committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.”; b) Section 12, on the other hand, authorizes law enforcers “to collect or record by technical or electronic means traffic data in real-time associated with specified communications transmitted by means of a computer system.”; and c) Section 20 lists the penalties for non-compliance with the law. The newly enacted law not only violates the Constitution but also the Anti-Wiretapping Law. The general public, is now subjected to subtle but pervasive State monitoring and control, and is attended with grave abuse and discretion, contravening Sections 3(1) on the inviolability of privacy of communication and 4 on the freedom of speech, the press and peaceful assembly, of Article III or the Bill of Rights of the 1987 Constitution.
The case was entitled LOUIS “BAROK” C. BIRAOGO, Petitioner, versus The NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, Respondents, and filed as Case No. G.R. No. 203299
Party-list aspirant Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM) filed a second petition, urging the Supreme Court to take immediate action on their motion for reconsideration for a temporary restraining order on the said law. Several provisions of the law violate freedom of expression, speech and of the press and are therefore unconstitutional. The unacceptable provisions:
a) cyber libel in Section 4(c)(4),
b) unsolicited advertisement (Section 4(c)(3), the clause that increases by one degree the imprisonment for all crimes under the Revised Penal Code and special penal laws (Section 6), the clause allowing double jeopardy (Section 7), spy provision (Section 12), and blocking clause (Section 19).
The libel provision in the law should be declared null and void because this is outside the nature of the enumerated subject crimes under the Cybercrime Law.The difference between libel and cybercrimes is that the former is committed by means of publication or making it known to the public while the latter is perpetrated by acts that are in nature hidden.
Cybercrimes such as stealing passwords, computer hacking, or gaining access into computer systems or data, stealing PIN codes of computer data, banks accounts and other records for profit, are done in secret. Libel, on the other hand, cannot be committed secretly since it has to be made publicly and one element of such a crime is that it has to be publicized through print or broadcast media.

September 26, 2012

Petitioners led by JJ Disini of the UP College of Law, and one other bloggers filed a third petition for a TRO in the Supreme Court, calling the anti-cybercrime law as “reminiscent of a totalitarian state” which permits unregulated and unrestricted censorship. The group argued that:

a) The constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Act was violated such as the freedom of expression, due process, equal protection, privacy of communications, double jeopardy, and right against unreasonable searches and seizure, by empowering authorities to block any material accessed on the Internet;

b) Certain provisions make way for “prior restraint, “ by censoring uploaded data prior to filing a case versus the individual uploading such uploaded content, referring to Section 19 of the law, authorizing the Justice Secretary to block any content found to be violating the law “merely at face value (prima facie)”.

The law is contrary to common practice in law wherein conviction of crimes requires evidence to prove that they were committed “beyond reasonable doubt, ” and hinders ordinary citizens to make on-line comments/information.

c) Section 4, relating to online libel was also opposed by the group. Upon commenting on public officials online, the law may cause people not to hush up for fear of being sued.

This provision on the other hand, will enable netizens to be more responsible in making online comments/opinions.

d) The law allows the accused to be tried in the same manner as trying a person committing the crime of libel in traditional media, with greater penalties, which is a case of double jeopardy.

e) Section 12 of the law is also being contested, in which the NBI and the PNP are allowed to collect real-time traffic data “with due cause” in the absence of a court order.

The unwarranted authority by the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation to engage in wholesale surveillance of all online data and communications, including mobile data, is a violation of the right from unreasonable searches/seizure, and privacy of communications. This could be used for 24/7 surveillance, which is worse than the Human Security Act where even the rights of terrorists are protected. There is a need for a court to oversee such activities.

Meanwhile, some individuals who are for the cybercrime law believe that collecting real-time data is for the purpose of tracking down and punishing text scams.

The case is filed in the Supreme Court as JOSE JESUS M. DISINI, .JR.,
BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, Respondents, as G. R. No. 203335.

September 27, 2012

A fourth petition for certiorari and prohibition, with an application for a Temporary Restraining Order, was filed by Senator Teofisto Guingona III, asking the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of the law. The Senator argued that certain provisions are unconstitutional. In his 39-page petition, he argued that:
a) Section 6 of the law, denies the equal protection clause for online libel and libel done through the traditional media.
b) Section 7 provides that prosecution under said law shall be without prejudice to any liability for violation of any provision in the Revised Penal Code, which is “contrary to the constitutional provision of double jeopardy.”
c) Section 19 of the law which authorizes the Department of Justice unrestricted authority to restrict or block access to computer data “would be found prima facie in violation of the Cybercrime Law”
d) Sections 4, 6, 7 and 19 were considered too vague and violated the freedom of speech.

The law might be used to curtail the freedom of expression which will scare off many internet users.

A law’s validity should apply equally to all classes of members. He was referring to the libel provision of the law. In the Philippine Constitution, searches and seizures should be based on the determination of a probable cause by a judge. He was not against the whole cybercrime law because crimes such as hacking could be prosecuted.

Guingona petitioned the Supreme Court to conduct oral arguments so both sides of the issue could be heard. If approved, the Senator intends to conduct consultations and make future amendments to the law.


September 28, 2012

Journalists, bloggers and lawyers jointly filed a fifth petition in the Supreme Court seeking the immediate issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the concerned government authorities in implementing the unconstitutional provisions” of the law, including the disbursement of funds for the purpose.
Petitioners Alexander Adonis (radio broadcaster), Ellen Tordesillas (journalist, blogger), Ma. Gisela Ordenes-Cascolan (Vera Files writer, blogger), and Attorneys Harry Roque, Romel Bagares and Gilbert Andres argued that the assailed law contains unconstitutional provisions, namely:
a) Sec. 4 (c) [4], which criminalizes libel, not only on the internet, but also on “any
other similar means which may be devised in the future;”

b) Sec. 5, which identifies also identifies the following as violations of the law: (a) aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime, and (b) attempt in the commission of cybercrime;

Both Sections 4 and 5 “violate the constitutional right to freedom of speech, of expression, and of the press enshrined in the 1987 Constitution.

c) Sec. 6, which raises by one degree higher the penalties provided for by the Revised Penal Code for all crimes committed through and with the use of information and communications, which violates the equal protection clause provided in the Constitution, since it “arbitrarily increases the penalty imposed on ‘cybel libel’ as compared to the penalty for ordinary libel — without any valid legal basis for such a higher penalty.”

d) Sec. 7, that provides that apart from prosecution under the assailed law, any person charged for the alleged offense covered will not be spared from violations of the Revised Penal Code and other special laws; and violates the right against double jeopardy, also enshrined in the Constitution, they claimed.

e) Sec. 19, which authorizes the DOJ to block access to computer data when such data “is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act,” which
violates the constitutional principle of separation of powers by “delegating to the DOJ” what should be the function of the courts
The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) has so held its view on Adonis vs. Republic of the Philippines, that libel, as stated in the Revised Penal Code, is incompatible with the freedom of expression.
Any prosecution for libel is a continuing violation of Philippine law. Adonis has gone to the United Nations, after having been found guilty on the charge of libel slapped by former House Member Prospero C. Nograles, having been imprisoned for 2 years.

October 1, 2012

Kabataan partylist Representative Raymond Palatino, Professor Carl Marc Ramota of the University of the Philippines-Manila Department of Social Sciences, Dean Rolando Tolentino of the UP College of Mass Communications, bloggers Katrina Stuart Santiago, Victor Villanueva and representatives from different research and media outfits Tudla Media Productions, Crispin Beltran Research Center, et. al., petitioned the Supreme Court to nullify sections of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act which they deemed vague and violate the freedom of expression and privacy of communication.
They argued that Sections 4(c)4, 5, 6 and 7, which includes online libel as a cybercrime and increases penalties for all crimes in the Revised Penal Code are ambiguous because they failed to specify the penalties for online libel and distinguish communications made through a “computer system” and “information and communications technology.”
This provision will most definitely give law enforcers unbridled discretion in carrying out the law’s provisions, and produce a chilling effect on legitimate and protected speech.
They added that the following provisions of Chapter IV of the law, dealing with the collection and disclosure of data, are unconstitutional. They are:
a) Section 12, which allows real-time collection of traffic data, allegedly violates the right to privacy of communications;
b) Sections 13 and 17, authorizing the preservation of data, and allowing the destruction of the same, respectively, deprives citizens of their right to due process because they are not provided due notice; the “opportunity to be heard as to why their stored data is being order preserved or destroyed;
c) Section 15, allowing the search, seizure and examination of computer data violates the constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure;
d) Section 19, empowering the Department of Justice the power to issue an order to restrict or block access to computer data that are prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of the law violates the freedom of expression and speech;
They argued that the law, signed by President Benigno Aquino III on September 12, which takes effect on Wednesday, October 3, makes them criminally liable for the articles they have posted online.
This is the sixth petition to be filed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act. The case was filed as G. R. No. 203391 entitled HON. RAYMOND V. PALATINO, HON. ANTONIO TINIO, VENCER, MARl CRISOSTOMO of ANAKBAYAN, MA. KATHERINE ELONA of the Philippine Collegian, ISABELLE THERESE BAGUISI of the National Union of Students of the Philippines, et al., Petitioners, versus HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, .JR., in his capacity as Executive Secretary and alter-ego of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, and HON. LEILA DE LIMA, in her capacity as Secretary of Justice, Respondents.
On the same day, National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera and militant groups sucha as the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan or Bayan, Gabriela, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Karapatan, Courage and Anakpawis petiitoned the Supreme Court to declare the Anti-Cybercrime Law as unconstitutional, and to stop Malacañang from implementing the law, which they termed as a “Machiavellian” measure that violates press freedom.
They argued that Sections 4(a)(3), 4(b)(3), 4(c)(4), 5(a)(b), 6, 7, 12, 17, 19, and 20 of the law are intended to restrict acts that are protected by the 1987 Constitution which penalize online libel, cybercrime through data interference, abetting cybercrimes. It grants the Department of Justice the power to shut down sites that contain harmful content based on prima facie evidence.
“Any Filipino citizen who is a computer user utilizing mobile phones, emails, social media or anything that is related to cyberspace is a marked target of the law.
This is the seventh petition to be filed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act, filed as G. R. No. 203407, entitled Bagong Alyansang Makabayan Secretary General RENATO M. REYES JR., National Artist BIENVENIDO L. LUMBERA, Chairperson of Concerned Artists of the Philippines, ELMER C. LABOG, Chairperson of Kilusang Mayo Uno, CHRISTINA E. PALABAY, Secretary General of Karapatan, FERDINAND R. GAITE, Chairperson of COURAGE, JOEL B. MAGLUNSOD, Vice Presidenl of Anakpawis Party–List, LANA R. LINABAN, Secretary General, Gabriela Women’s Party, ADOLFO ARES P. GUTIERREZ and .JULHJS GARCIA-MATIBAG, Petitioners, versus HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO Ill, President of the Republic of the Pbilippines, HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., Executive Secretary, SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, represented by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., HON. LEILAA DE LIMA, Secretary of .Justice, LOUIS NAPOLEON C. CASAMBRE, Executive Director of the Information and Communications Technology Office, NONNATUS CAESAR R. ROJAS, Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, D/GEN. NICANOR A. BARTOLOME, Chief of the Philippine National Police, and HON. MANUEL A. ROXAS II, Secretary of Interior and Local Govemment, Respondents.

October 2, 2012

Cecilia R.V. Quisumbing, Human Rights Commissioner says that the ‘Cybercrime Law may put Philippines in more trouble with UN for curtailing press freedom. Its aim is to address harmful acts committed with the use of the worldwide web in the 21st century, but raises the risk of human rights violations and curtailment of freedom of speech and of the press by extending the criminalization of the act of libel by raising the penalties committed in cyberspace one year longer than what is imposed in the Revise Penal Code.
Any imperfections in the provisions of the law that conflict with other aspects of good governance and national/international laws, be amended. This should not be seen as personal attacks on anyone’s character or effectiveness. Instead of increasing the number and the amount of penalties in which a person could be imprisoned and criminally charged for libel, it would be in the best interests of the Filipinos for the government to decriminalize libel.
Aside from the libel provision, there are other sections which are inconsistent with basic human rights standards such as the lack of clear parameters regarding the extent of the initial investigation by responsible law enforcement authorities on online private correspondence as they search for possible libelous statements or pornographic material. The Department of Justice’ authority to block access to sites at an early stage is a questionable area which could violate rights to property/information and the freedom of speech and of the press.
The law’s enactment coincides with the Philippines’scrutiny by human rights experts of the UN Human Rights Committee on its civil and political rights situation on October 13.
While the Convention does allow sovereign governments to regulate freedom of expression, such regulation should be done in a way that does not curtail the freedom. The Committee further elaborates in General Comment No. 34 (2011), “States parties should consider the decriminalization of defamation and, in any case, the application of the criminal law should only be countenanced in the most serious of cases and imprisonment is never an appropriate penalty.”
Among the inconsistencies and ironies of the relatively quick passage of this legislation and the timing thereof are:
1. Its non-compliance with the United Nations International Committee on Civil and Political Rights, which was ratified by President Corazon C. Aquino after decades of non-ratification by President Ferdinand Marcos;
2. It signing by President Benigno S. Aquino III days before the country marked the 40th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, a period characterized by repression of the freedom of expression/the press, and the right to political participation; and
3. The 1987 Constitution, whom the President and all the lawmakers have sworn to uphold has a number of provisions with which the Anti-Cybercrime Law is inconsistent with regarding the provision on the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press (Art. 3, Sec. 4), the vital role of communication and information in nation-building,” and the right of the individual to be secure in their persons, papers/effects against unreasonable searches and seizures.
4. The vital role of the internet as an affordable, and empowering tool to monitor governance, transparency, and political participation by the Filipino people whom the President termed as his boss in his inaugural speech.

October 3, 2012

Today is the day Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012 takes effect. Other petitions have been filed previously, and the eighth petition was filed with the Supreme Court, questioning the legality of the law by Atty. Melencio Sta. Maria. Sedfrey Candelaria, Amparita Sta. Maria, Ray Paolo Santiago, Gilbert Sembrano, Ryan Quan and the rest of the staff of the Ateneo Human Rights Center. They also asked the Supreme Court to stop the law’s implementation through a temporary restraining order. The law would endanger the freedom of speech, right to privacy and the freedom of the press and all other rights, they argued in their petition.
They petitioned the Supreme Court to strike down as unconstitutional the following provisions:
a. Sec. 4(4), which criminalizes libel, not only on the internet, but also on “any other similar means which may be devised in the future;”
b. Sec. 6, which raises by one degree higher the penalties provided for by the Revised Penal Code for all crimes committed through and with the use of information and communications;
c. Sec. 7, which provides that, apart from prosecution under the law, any person charged for the alleged offense covered will not be spared from violations of the Revised Penal Code and other special laws;
d. Sec. 19, which authorizes the DOJ to block access to computer data when such data “is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act;”
It is the right of every Filipino to have all laws enacted and implemented without violating the constitution, and to live under a system of valid laws which have been passed in the legislature at the cost of the taxpayers’ money. The implementation of Sections 4(4), 5, 6, 7 and 19 of the law will violate constitutional rights and the constitutional mandate.
The case was filed in the Supreme Court as G. R. No. 203440 entitled MELENCIO S. STA. MARIA, SEDFREY M. CANDElARIA, AMPARITA STA. MARIA, RAY PAOLO J. SANTIAGO, GILBERT V. SEMBRANO and RYAN JEREMIAH D. QUAN, all of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, Petitioners, versus HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA, JR., in his capacity as Executive Secretary, HON. LEILA DE LIMA, in her capacity as Secretary of Justice, HON. MANUEL ROXAS, in his capacity as Secretary of Interior and Local Government, CHIEF OF THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, DIRECTOR, THE NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION and All of the Executive Department of Government, Respondents.
A group, calling itself the People’s Liberation Front claimed to have hacked the web sites of The Official Gazette, House of Representatives, National Bureau of Investigation, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, and the Philippine Senate. Four more government websites were hacked before dawn. These are the onlineOfficial Gazette published by the Office of the President of the Philippines,Congress,and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).


Twenty media organizations and more than 250 individuals, comprising mostly of journalists/media practitioners, filed with the Supreme Court (SC) the ninth petition against the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
They petitioned the SC to rule on the Cybercrime Prevention Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 10175, a law which they say establishes a regime of ‘cyber authoritarianism.’ Aside from this, the law violates the basic human freedom and liberty, such as the rights and freedoms of netizens.
The petition filed is a petition for Certiorari, Prohibition and Injunction filed with the SC, calling for an immediate Restraining Order to annul and/or restrain the implementation of specific portions of the lawfor its unconstitutionality. The specific provisions being questioned are the following:
a. Section 4(c)(4) on libel, where the clear intent of section 4(c)(4) is to single out netizens in their chosen medium of expression. It is clearly a prior restraint that infringes on the freedom of expression guaranteed under Article III. Freedom of expression has long enjoyed the distinction of being a preferred right, citing the case of Ayer Productions v. Hon. Capulong and Juan Ponce Enrile (G.R. No. 82380, April 29, 1988) Libel as a cybercrime is committed through a computer system and subject to punishment.
b. Section 5(a) clearly restrains the freedom of expression by failing to specifically define the acts punished within the scope of the words ‘abets or aids.’ They also questioned the criminalization of the acts that fall under ‘abets or aids’ as vague. . Any person using a computer and the internet to forward, share, like, or re-tweet’ comments considered by authorities to be offensive, would constitute an act of ‘abetting or aiding’ the content-related offense of cyber libel under section 4(c)(4),” they stated.
c. Section 5(a) on Aiding or Abetting in the Commission of Cybercrime;
d. Section 6 on the inclusion of all felonies and crimes within coverage of the law
The wholesale importation of all felonies and crimes as cybercrimes in section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act is unjustified, according to the ninth petition. There is no rational basis for concluding that the ‘use information technology use in relation to all felonies and crimes would constitute a circumstance as to convert an existing felony into a separate offense altogether. The basis for section 6, especially when read in relation to section 2, rendering it an act of prior restraint, which clearly violates the freedom of expression has no basis.
The power to restrict or block access to computer data without judicial determination, based on prima-facie evidence, that such data is in violation of the Cybercrime Law, is given to the justice secretary. Since the law does not provide any standard for the exercise of this power, any directive may be unlimited in scope, infringe on the basic right of free expression.
e. Section 7 on the liability under Other Laws;
f. Section 12 on the Real-Time Collection of Traffic Data;
g. Section 14 on the Disclosure of Computer Data;
h. Section 15 on the Search, Seizure and Examination of Computer Data;
i. Section19 on the Restriction or Blocking of Access to Computer Data;
j. Section 20 on Non-Compliance
Provisions of Sections 12, 14, 15, 19, and 20 unlawfully delegates to law enforcers such as the police force, the authority to issue orders within the limitation of judicial powers, where the crime of non-compliance is penalized;
k. Sections 24 relative to Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center; and
l. Section 26(a) relative to Powers and Functions,
Sections 24, and 26(a) give the Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center the power to formulate a national cybersecurity plan, which should fall within the jurisdiction of Congress and not an administrative agency.
They hope that the SC will issue an Immediate Restraining Order ordering the Departmeht of Budget and Management secretary to withhold the release of the P50-million budget intended for the law’s implementation, until the High Court rules otherwise.
The petitioners were represented by the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) of attorneys Jose Manuel I. Diokno, Pablito V. Sanidad, Ricardo A. Sunga III, and Theodore O. Te. The case is filed under G. R. No. 203453, entitled: NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE
CENTER, and all Agencies and Instrumentalities of the Government and All Persons Acting under Their Instructions, Orders, Direction in Relation to the Implementation of Republic Act No. 10175, Respondents.
Paul Cornelius Castillo and Ryan Andres, petitioners file the tenth petition against the Cybercrime Prevention Act in the Supreme Court. The case is filed under G. R. No. 203454, with the following title: Paul Cornelius T. Castillo and Ryan D. Andres, Petitioners, versus the Secretary of Interior and Local Government, Respondent.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima orders the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to track down and arrest persons or groups of persons responsible for hacking the websites of several government agencies, as online protests against the law continues. The hacked websites of these government agencies were rendered inaccessible for a few hours.
Hacking of the various government agencies’ websites is in protest against the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. De Lima ordered the arrest, prosecution, and punishment of these hackers for illegal access of computer systems as defined under Section 4 (a) of RA 10175, and Section 8 of the same law. The guilty persons arrested will face imprisonment of six to 12 years or a fine of P200,000 or both at the discretion of the court.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has mobilized at least 100 prosecutors to handle the cases that might be filed in relation to the implementation of the new law against the Anti-Cybercrime law. It will not abuse its authority in enforcing the new law.
Assistant Secretary Geronimo Sy’s office will be in charge of enhancing the technical capabilities of the the National Bureau of Investigation’s Computer Crimes Unit that will deal with the above cases. All the complaints against the law will have to be addressed by the government in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) that would be issued by the DOJ.
Two groups namely Anonymous Philippines and Private X admitted hacking of government websites.

October 4, 2012

A group of bloggers on Thursday filed with the Supreme Court the eleventh petition questioning the constitutionality of the Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012.
The 18 petitioners included Anthony Ian “Tonyo” Cruz, Marcelo Landicho (, Benjamin Noel Espina, Marck Ronald Rimorin, Julius Rocas, Oliver Richard Robillo, Aaron Erick Lozada (, Gerard Adrian Magnaye, Ruben Lucera Jr of the Cebu Bloggers Society Inc, and Pedro Rahon of the Pinoy Expat/OFW Blog Awards Inc.
In its petition for certiorari and prohibition, the bloggers said the Cybercrime Law violated several of their “inalienable civil rights under the Constitution… and indisputable entitlements under the Bill of Rights,” including other rights such as: the right to due process and equal protection of the law, the right against unreasonable searches and seizures, the right to privacy of communication and correspondence, the right to free speech and expression, and the right against double jeopardy.

Similar to earlier petitions filed by separate groups, the bloggers also questioned the constitutionality of key provisions of the law:
Such as Sec. 4(c)(4) on libel, Sec. 5(a) on aiding or abetting in the commission of cybercrime, Sec. 6 on the inclusion of all felonies and crimes within coverage of the law, Sec. 7 on the liability under other laws, Sec. 12 on the real-time collection of traffic data, and Sec. 19 which restricts or Blocks access to computer data).
The petitioners called on the high court to step in and rectify grave and serious injustices and violations of the Constitution.

Blog Awards, Inc. Coordinator PEDRO E. RAHOM, as petitioners, versus
HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, in his capacity as President of the Republic of the Philippines, SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by Hon. Juan Ponce Enrile, in his capacity as Senate President, HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES, represented by Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr., in his capacity as Speaker of the House of Representatives, HON. PAQUITO N.
OCHOA, JR., in his capacity as Executive Secretary, HON. LEILA M.
DE LIMA, in her capacity as Secretary of Justice, HON. LOUIS NAPOLEON
C. CASAMBRE, in his capacity as Executive Director, National Bureau of
Investigation and P/DGEN. NICANOR A.BARTOLOME, in his capacity as
Chief, Philippine National Police, as respondents.

One of the Philippine’s leading columnists Bobit S. Avila has termed the enactment and effectivity of the Anti-Cybercrime Prevention Law as being under cyber-martial law. It is ironical that this country which just celebrated martial law’s imposition after 40 years, is facing another looming dark cloud over the freedom of expression. Lest people forget that during the martial law years, the mainstream media, literally owned by Marcos cronies, gave rise to the mosquito press which the Marcos dictatorship dared not touch. We now have alternative media like blogs, social networking and Facebook that tell a different story from the major headlines of the day.
According to him, Malacañang should cease its defense of the Anti-Cyber crime law because it is not only the journalists that are being challenged but the citizenry, majority of whom belong to the voting population composed of the youth. This will surely spark protests when they believe that the basic human right of free speech will be curtailed.
Street and online protests have been staged by Filipinos against the Anti-Cybercrime Prevention Law. Netizens have assembled and brought their cause to international attention and the situation has become explosive. An accused citizen cannot use good faith as a defense against said law. This gives the government unbridled power to jail offenders. A national and international backlash against said law have scared many politicians. The upcoming elections will give them an opportunity to listen to public protests against the Anti-Cybercrime Law.
Filipino Americans have also shown vigilance over the Anti-Cybercrime Prevention Law. In what they dub as Cybercrime E-Martial Law in the Philippines, the situation is similar to martial law’s enactment in the early 1970s by the country’s ruling elite who sought to disband street protests. These protests were by the people were met with censorship, police brutality, mass incarceration, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial killings, and other unmitigated human rights violations. E-Martial Law, in the digital age, is being met with worldwide protests in the internet and on the streets.

October 5, 2012

The Philippine Bar Association (PBA), the oldest voluntary lawyers group of the country filed with the Supreme Court the twelfth petition questioning the legality of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. in its 61-page petitioned the Supreme Court to strictly scrutinize the law. They found various provisions having serious constitutional issues, and decided to bring the matter to the Supreme Court for its resolution. In its petition, the group said that the same well-intentioned measures intended to suppress criminal behavior could hinder the legitimate expression that is protected under the Constitution. It also described the law as discriminating against netizens and online journalists. Its vague provisions will enable law enforcers to interpret and implement the law according to their own discretion.

The group feared that authority given to access and restrict certain computer data by the Department of Justice could be used for surveillance of information including members of the Supreme Court, once it determines a “due cause” to do so. The law’s immediate implementation and/or enforcement by the respondents of unconstitutional provisions of the Cybercrime Law would cause grave and irreparable injury to the Filipino people. Specific sections of the law were declared to be unconstitutional for violating the human right to free expression, due process, equal protection, privacy of communication/correspondence, and protection against double jeopardy, among others.
In the Supreme Court, the case was filed as G. R. No. 203501, with the Philippine Bar Association, Inc., as petitioner, versus HIS EXCELLENCY BENIGNO S. AQUINO III, in his official capacity as President of the Republic of the Philippines, the HON. PAQUITO N. OCHOA; JR., in his official capacity as Executive Secretary, HON. LEILA M. DE LIMA, in her official capacity as Secretary of Justice, LOUIS NAPOLEON C. CASAMBRE, in his official capacity as Executive Director, Information and Communications Technology Office, NONNATUS CAESAR R. ROJAS, in his official capacity as Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, and DIRECTOR GENERAL NICANOR A. BARTOLOME, in his official capacity as Chief of the Philippine National Police, as respondents.

October 6, 2012

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Vera Files websites are hacked in protest against the Cybercrime Prevention Law.

October 8, 2012

The thirteenth petition against the Cybercrime Law was filed in the Supreme Court by Bayan Muna party-list Representative Neri Colmenares. Colmenares petitioned the high court to issue a temporary restraining order on the implementation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and for an immediate conduct of oral arguments on the issue, pending final judgment. The law should be declared unconstitutional because it infringes on the basic right to the freedom of speech. Aside from this, the free speech doctrine is not incorporated in the law, such as internet or e-speech. Even the controversial libel provision of the law has been inserted only during the bicameral conference committee. The said committee is not authorized to make insertions in the bill.

The case is filed under G.R. No. 203509, entitled: Bayan Muna Representative NERI J. COLMENARES, Petitioner, versus EXECUTIVE SECRETARY PAQUITO N. OCHOA, .JR., Respondent.

The National Press Club (NPC) files the 14th petition against the Cybercrime Law. It asked the High Court to impose a temporary restraining order against the law’s implementation, declared the law unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental speech of freedom of expression, the press, the right to due process of law and equal protection of the law/right against jeopardy of the petitioners, internet users, bloggers and Filipinos. The case is filed as G.R. No. 203515, entitled NATIONAL PRESS CLUB OF THE PHILIPPINES INC., represented by Benny D. Antiporda, in his capacity as President and in his personal capacity, Petitioner, versus the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT BENIGNO SIMEON AQUINO III, DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE, NATIONAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, DEPARTMENT OF BUDGET AND M.ANAGEMENT and All Other Government Instrumentalities Who Have Hands in the Passage and/or Implementation of Republic Act 10175, Respondents.
A group of made up of different organizations, netizens, and bloggers calling themselves the Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA) files the 15th petition against the Cybercrime Law. They sought for a preliminary injunction to maintain the prevailing status quo before the enactment of the controversial measure, which took effect since Oct. 3. It argued that the Cybercrime Prevention Act is an “undue abridgment” of the freedom of speech, expression and of the press.
It claims that its members have legal standing to sue due to the “chilling effect” that could impact online activities starting October 3, the day the law takes effect. This law subjects netizens to unwarranted electronic surveillance, 24/7 by the Philippine government.


October 9, 2012

The Supreme Court (SC) issues a stay order against the controversial cybercrime law amid protests over its alleged unconstitutional provisions.

In a 13-page temporary restraining order (TRO) dated Oct. 9, the justices unanimously stopped the implementation of Republic Act (RA) No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 for 120 days.

October 10, 2012
Recently retired journalism professor Luis V. Teodoro calls the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 as the worst assault on free expression since Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law 40 years ago due to its potential to affect the 26 to 30 million Filipinos, including journalists, who access o upload information through personal blogs or news sites via the internet on a regular basis, and comment on public issues in chat rooms/social media.
October 18, 2012
Netizens and environmentalists and have rallied behind Esperlita “Perling” Garcia, an anti-mining advocate in Cagayan Province. According to Bayan Secretary General Renato Reyes, she was arrested on libel charges for allegedly posting an article on Facebook last April 2011, protesting the cancellation of her group’s anti-mining rally due to harassment by the Provincial Mayor of the locality. She was arrested eighteen months prior to the enactment of the law, despite a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court suspending the law’s implementation. This is the first case of an arrest resulting from an online libel complaint which is penalized with a maximum of 12 years imprisonment.
January 11, 2013
Youth organization leaders filed the 16th petition questioning certain provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, a few days before the oral arguments set by the Supreme Court (SC) for Tuesday next week, January 15. The petitioners questioned the penalties imposed on cybersex, which are supposedly vaguely defined.
The petition was filed by the University of the Philippines Student Council chairman Gabriel Paolo “Heart” Dino, 2012 Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines awardee JC Tejano, University of the East Student Council president Ephraim Ocampo, De La Salle University Student Council president Julie Ann Cabuhat and Ateneo professor Lisandro Claudio.
They stated the following questionable provisions of the law regarding the following:
a) that the law’s vague definition of cybersex, wherein its current provisions could cover private exchanges between consenting adults. They cited Section 4(c)(1) of the law on cybersex as an example, which impairs the right of privacy and free speech. This provision was deemed as ambiguous, adding a vague statute or act is a violation of the Constitution;
b) the use of the word “prostitution” in the law “clearly applies to both prostitution, as commonly understood, and to private and intimate acts between consenting individuals not otherwise punished by law; “
c) the terms “lascivious exhibition of sexual organ” and “sexual activity” is not precisely defined in the law;
d) the law exposes individuals to the danger of being twice put in jeopardy for the same offense such as e-libel and e-child pornography, and if Section 7 of the Act is upheld as constitutional, a person will be punished twice for committing a single set of acts simply because these acts constitute an offense both in RA 10175 and in another criminal statute.

The youth leaders sought to intervene in 15 consolidated petitions filed before the high court. In their petition-in-intervention for certiorari and prohibition, the petitioners asked the court to stop the implementation of the law for allegedly being unconstitutional. Some of the law’s provisions violate a person’s constitutional rights. They also petitioned the high scourt to extend the 120-day temporary restraining order it issued against the implementation of the law.
The petitioners, who described themselves as citizen journalists, online activists, Internet users, and members of the youth population, are as follows: Ephraim Ocampo, president of the University of the East Student Council; Julie Anne Cabuhat, national spokesperson of Akbayan; Gabriel Paolo Diño, chair of the University of the Philippines Student Council and Metro Manila chair of the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines; and Lisandro Elias Claudio, a citizen journalist.
Named respondents were Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr., Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo, Information and Communication Technology executive director Louis Napoleon Carambre, National Bureau of Investigation director Nonnatus Rojas, former Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

January 15, 2013
The Supreme Court conducts its first oral argument on the controversial law. Legal counsels for the petitioners took turns in explaining how certain provisions in the law like those on electronic libel, cybersex, and harsher penalties for offenders, would be violative of a person’s right to free expression, due process, and against double jeopardy among others.

January 22, 2013
Continuation of the oral arguments against the Anti-Cybercrime Law failed to push through after Solicitor General Francis Jardeleza, who serves as the government’s legal counsel in the case, and whose turn it was to defend the law, filed a last minute request for postponement. The Supreme Court granted the deferral of the proceedings because Jardeleza was needed by Aquino at the Palace this day.

January 24, 2013

The Philippine Supreme Court, in a full court session denied a 16th petition filed by a group of student council youth leaders against the Cybercrime Law. It requested official participation in the ongoing debates for and against the law which was enacted late last year.
The court denied the motion for leave of court to file a petition-in-intervention filed by Ephraim Ocampo, Julie Anne Cabuhat, Gabriel Paolo Diño and Lisandro Elias Claudio.
No explains were given as to the reason behind the dismissal. The high court decided to retain the number of petitions versus the Cybercrime Law to 15.

Related Links:
1. Republic Act No. 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012)

2. Newspaper Articles

























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Cybercrime Prevention Act of the Philippines…A Law that Backfired: A Timeline (Part II – Crafting of the Law at the Bicameral Conference and Presidential Approval)

The Conference Committee Report relative to the Anti-Cybercrime Law or
Republic Act No. 10175 is referred to as the Bicameral (Bicam for short)
Conference Committee Report. The members of this conference committee
are representatives from both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

May 23, 2012
Senate receives the transmitted House Bill No. 5808.

June 5, 2012
The Bicam Conference Committee was co-chaired by Senator Edgardo J.
Angara and Representative Sigfrido R. Tinga. The Senate was represented by
Senators Angara, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Jinggoy Estrada, Ferdinand
“Bongbong” Marcos, Antonio Trillanes, Bong Revilla and Manuel Villar.

Members of the House in the conference committee were represented by
Sigfrido R. Tinga, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (Aurora), Diosdado “Dato” Macapagal,
Jr. (Camarines Sur), Roilo Golez (Paranaque) Miro Quimbo (Marikina), Susan
Yap (Tarlac), Ma. Rachel Arenas (Pangasinan), Eric Singson Jr. (Ilocos Sur),
Teodoro Marcelino (Marikina), Mel Sarmiento (Western Samar), Cesar
Sarmiento (Catanduanes) and Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro City).
The Conference Committee Report on reconciling the provisions of Senate
Bill No. 2796 and House Bill No. 5808 were discussed.

Senate Bill No. 2796, entitled:

OTHER PURPOSES,” and House Bill No. 5808, entitled “AN ACT DEFINING

Senator Angara was recognized by the Chair to sponsor the report.
The following is the summary (in tabular form) of the amendments of House
Bill No. 5808 and Senate Bill No. 2796, the basis for the enactment of Republic
Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law. As agreed upon, the Bicameral
Conference Committee, decided to generally adopt the Senate version of the bill
to be used as the working draft of this conference.

Provisions of Senate Bill No. 2796 Inserted

1. Section 3 – Definition of Terms (Original Retained Except for Amended Subparagraphs)

2. Section 3, Subparagraphs (e) – Computer Data (Subparagraph Renumbered);
Subparagraph (h) – Without Right (Subparagraph Renumbered); (j) Critical Infrastructure; (k) Cyber security; (l) Database; (m)Interception; (n) Service Provider; (o) Subscriber’s information; and (p)Traffic Data or Non-Content Data (All Subparagraphs Renumbered)

3. Section 4,

a. Subparagraph (2)- Illegal Interception (the succeeding provisions deleted); Paragraph (B3) Computer-Related Identity Theft (Renumbered Section; Second Paragraph on Penalties for said Crimes Deleted); 

b. Subparagraph (5) Misuse of Devices (The Succeeding provision Deleted); 

c. Subparagraph (6) Cybersquatting defined; (B1) Computer-Related Forgery; and (B2) Computer-Related Fraud (Subparagraphs Renumbered)

d. Section 4, Paragraphs (C1) Cybersex; and (C2) Child Pornography with the following amendments:
the words “especially as” between the words “2009 and “committed” (deleted); and
“Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775.” (this provision between quotation marks inserted after the word “system” was added)

e. Section 4, Subparagraph (C3c), Unsolicited Commercial Communications – … “the primary intent of the communication is for service and/or” (Subparagraph Renumbered; Provision in Between Quotations Marks Inserted)

4. Section 5 – Other Offenses (Original Version)

5. Section 7- Liability under Other Laws (Section Renumbered)

6. Section 8- Penalties … Anti-Child Pornography Act of 2009:
“Provided, That the penalty to be imposed shall be one degree higher than that provided for in Republic Act No. 9775, if committed through a computer system.”
(Section Renumbered; Provision in Quotation Marks Inserted)

7. Section 9 – Corporate Liability
 a) a power of representation of the juridical person, Provided, the act committed falls within the scope of such authority; b) an authority to take decisions on behalf of the juridical person, Provided, the act committed within the scope of such authority, or … (Renumbered Section; Subsections a) and b) inserted)

8. Section 11- Duties of Law Enforcement Authorities (Section Renumbered)

9. Section 12-Real Time Collection of Traffic Data (Section Renumbered)

10.Section 13- Preservation of Computer Data (This Section Renumbered)

11. Section 14 – Disclosure of Computer Data (Renumbered Section)

12. Section 15-Search, Seizure, and Examination of Computer Data (Renumbered Section)

13. Section 19 -Restricting or Blocking Access to Computer Data – When a computer data is prima facie found to be in violation of the provisions of this Act, the DOJ shall issue an order to restrict or block access to such computer data. (Renumbered Section; Take-Down Provision)

14. Section 20-Non-Compliance (Renumbered Section)

15. Section 21-Jurisdiction (Renumbered Section)

16. Chapter VI – International Cooperation, Section 22- General Principle Relating to International Cooperation (Renumbered Section)

17. Chapter VII- Competent Authorities, Section 23- Department of Justice
(Renumbered Section)

18. Section 27 – Appropriations (Section Renumbered)

19. Section 29 – Separability Clause;

20. Section 30 – Repealing Clause; and

21. Section 31 – Effectivity (All Sections Renumbered)

Provisions of House Bill No. 5808) Inserted 


2. Section 2 – Declaration of Policy (Original Retained) 

3. Section 3, Subparagraphs (c) – Communication refers to the transmission of information through ICT media, including voice, video and other forms of data; (d) Computers – It covers any type of computer device including devices with data processing capabilities like mobile phones, smart phones, computer networks, and other devices connected to the internet. (Definition of Communications and Computer inserted); (g) – Computer System (Definition of, with Subparagraph Renumbered); (i) Cyber (Definition inserted; Subparagraph Renumbered); and (t) – Computer Program (Definition inserted; Subparagraph Renumbered)

4. Section 4,

a. Subparagraph (3) Data Interference (Defined);  

b. Subparagraph (4) System Interference (Defined)

(Both Subparagraphs Renumbered);

5. Section 10 – Law Enforcement Agencies changed to “Law Enforcement Authorities” for consistency (Renumbered Section);

6. Section 16-Custody of Computer Data; 

7. Section 17 – Destruction of Data; 

8. Section 18, Exclusionary Rule (All Sections Renumbered; Section 17 entitled “Destruction of Computer Data” renamed “Destruction of Data”)

9. Section 24 – Cybercrime Investigation and Coordinating Center (Renumbered Section); 

10.Section 25 –Composition … “Head of the DOJ Office of the Cybercrime and one (1) representative each from the private sector and academe” (Inserted Provision in Quotation Marks)

11.Section 28 – Implementing Rules and Regulations (Renumbered Section)

Provisions of Both Senate Bill No. 2796 and House Bill No. 5808 Inserted

Chapter VIII – Final Provisions (Original Retained)

New Section Inserted

“Sec. 6. – All 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 degree higher than that provided for by the Revised Penal Code and special laws.” (New Section added to the reconciled version;  Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code relative to Libel is included, including all other offenses in the Revised Penal Code)
The Conference Committee Report regarding the disagreeing provisions of both Senate Bill No. 2708 and House Bill No. 5808 were approved by the Body.

August 15, 2012

President Benigno C. Aquino III receives the transmitted Bicameral Conference Committee Report.

September 12, 2012

Republic Act No. 10175 is signed into law by President Aquino III

The next blog will feature the timeline of the Filipino people’s reaction to Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Act of 2012. This was done through hackings, petitions, and other forms of protests. Petitions were filed in the Supreme Court questioning certain provisions of said law. The Supreme Court finally issued a Temporary Restraining Order of the law’s implementation.

Related Links:

I. Republic Acts

A. Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act
of 2012

II. Bicameral Conference Committee Report

A. For the Record: Public records of Senate Deliberations on the Cybercrime Prevention Bill: May 23, 2012 and June 5, 2012 Timeline senate-deliberations-on-the-cybercrime-prevention-bill/

III. Newspaper Clippings

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Cybercrime Prevention Act of the Philippines…A Law that Backfired : A Timeline (Part I – Deliberations in Congress)

Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Law of the Philippines is an amalgamation of past bills proposed. There were loopholes and deficiencies in past laws related to cybercrime, and it was imperative to have them amended, or have new laws enacted. The Cybercrime Prevention Law originated from both the House of Representatives and the Senate, based on House Bill No. 5808 and Senate Bill No. 2796, respectively.

The following timeline shows the evolvement of the Cybercrime Prevention Law, in its deliberation in Congress.

Senate Deliberations

May 11, 2011

Senate approves the transfer of Committee Report No. 30 on Senate Bill No. 2796 from the Calendar for Ordinary Business to the Calendar for Special Orders and is approved on Second Reading without any objections. Senator Edgardo Angara sponsors Senate Bill No. 2796. In his speech he cites the need for enacting said Senate Bill. The Bill is discussed on the plenary level where Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri also gives a speech on the need to enact a cybercrime law. Senator Loren Legarda co-sponsors the bill. House Bill No. 2796 is thereafter is entitled:

September 12, 2011

Senate Bill No. 2796 is deliberated on Second Reading. Senator Angara is acknowledged as the main sponsor of the measure, which was interpellated by Senators Miriam Defensor Santiago and Tito Sotto. Among the Sections of the bill being discussed were the jurisdiction of cybercrimes committed outside the Philippines, which is not a signatory to the Budapest Convention on Cybercrime.

December 12, 2011

The Chair recognizes Senator Angara for the sponsorship of Senate Bill No. 2796, and is interpellated by Senators Sotto, Teofisto Guingona, Aquilino Pimentel. The more important provisions of the bill were discussed such as punishment for all types of cybercrimes such cyberterrorism. And internet libel/defamation and cyberpornography and child exploitation.
December 13, 2011
Senator Angara is recognized anew for the sponsorship of Senate Bill No. 2796, and was interpellated by Senator Juan Ponce Enrile over the legal definition of the various crimes stated.

January 24, 2012

The Chair recognized anew Senator Angara’s sponsorship of Senate Bill No. 2796 and requested that he be given sufficient time as he was awaiting the Senate Secretariat’s submission of all the proposed, individual amendments incorporated in the committee report, for review by the Body.
Individual amendments to Senate Bill No. 2796 were discussed and clarified. The following general amendments were approved by the Senate body:

1.The definitions of a Computer, Critical Infrastructure and Cybersecurity were inserted;

2. The words “DELETION” and “DETERIORATION” were included in the definition of “Data Interference”;

3. Cybersquatting was included and defined.

4. A new definition of Cybersex is inserted, which is the wilful engagement, operation, directly or indirectly, of any lascivious exhibition of sexual organs or sexual activity utilizing a computer system for favour or consideration.
Senator Guingona expressed his concern that the definition of Cybersex
which meant prior restraint might violate the Constitution. Senator Angara said that it did not impose such restraints and requested him to hear the individual amendments first then revert to his concern later.

Senator Pia Cayetano requested to be given time to make sure that the bill’s definition of child pornography is consistent with Repubic Act (RA) No. 9775.
Senator Angara explained that the proposed amendment would not conflict with the definition of child pornography on the bill and that of RA 9775.

7. Provisions for penalties and /or fines imposed upon persons guilty under Section 4 A.5, that is, punishable acts committed against critical infrastructure inserted.

8. Law enforcement authorities, upon securing a court warrant are given the power to collect or record real-time traffic of data.

Senator Angara remarked that the new definition of “Cybersex” was precisely in response to the reservation of Senators Guingona and Defensor Santiago over the word “arousal” which they considered as subjective. The phrase “favor” or “consideration” be retained for this was the heart of cybercrime, where such acts were done for money, consideration or favor. He questioned why this definition would imply prior restraint.

Senator Guingona argued that said definition is left for the judge to interpret, is too broad, and is tantamount to legislating morality. He suggested that the section be deleted, being inconsistent with the Constitution.

Senator Angara disagreed, and argued that deleting said section would imply that the Body is not in agreement that cybersex, one of the common crimes committed against children, is considered a crime. Inspite of this, the definition was still retained due to children’s computer usage exposure to unregulated and non-criminalized activities.

Senator Defensor Santiago proposed the following amendments to the Anti-Cybercrime Law as a Body, and this was accepted by Senator Angara and the rest of their colleagues.

9. While Sections 4(A) and (B) of the Act define offenses as applying to computer data/systems, including emails and social networks. This justified the insertion of the words “WHETHER STORED IN A LOCAL COMPUTER SYSTEMS OR ONLINE.

10. Damage and fraudulent intent is not for economic gain but with the purpose of destruction. Therefore, the phrase “WITH FRAUDULENT INTENT” was substituted for “economic gains.”

11. A new paragraph, Section 9, was inserted where the requirements for the issuance of a court warrant be issued/ granted upon written application/affirmation and examination under oath of applicant/produced witnesses and evidences. As observed by Senator Santiago, the section lacks the parameters to ensure that this will be subject to abuse by law enforcers. She proposed that Section 3 of RA 4200 (Anti-Wire Tapping Law) serve as a guide in setting the parameters.

Senator Lacson asked whether the definition of “cybersex” covers phone sex, Senator Angara said that doing so might be outside what is permissible.

Senator Sotto added that it was difficult to classify the telephone as part of the computer system. He also cited various abuses in video/photo uploading, unnecessary write-ups/comments in social networking systems, citing Supreme Court cases of Mendez vs. Court of Appeals (GR No. 124491, June 1, 1999), and n Lacsa vs. Intermediate Appellate Court (G. R. No. 74907, May 23, 1988), relative to libel. Libel in cyber-space could further promote the “think before you click” mentality, and cybercrimes were not covered by Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code.

As proposed, and accepted by the Sponsor, the Senate Body approved the insertion of a new paragraph entitled:

12.”Libel – as defined in said Senate Bill as the unlawful act as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, committed through a computer system or any other similar means.
Senator Angara pointed out that cyberspace, a new medium for publishing libellous statements is subject to prosecution and punishment as defined by Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code.
Senate Bill No. 2796 was approved on Second Reading.

January 30, 2012

Senate Bill No. 2796 was approved on Third Reading. Senate Secretary Emma L. Reyes called the roll for the bill’s nominal voting. The result of the voting was as follows:
Those In Favour : Senators Pia Cayetano, Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Francis Joseph Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Lacson, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Aquilino
Pimentel III, Ralph Recto, Ramon Revilla Jr., Tito Sotto, Manuel Villar (13 Senators)

Those Against : Senator Teofisto Guingona Jr. (1 Senator)

Abstentions : None

Due to his libertarian views on the matter, Senator Guingona explained his vote against the bill mainly because of cybersex’s definition as violating constitutional principles of freedom of speech and expression. He also said that the bill sets the country back, instead of moving forward in the 21st century.

House Deliberations

February 9, 2012

House Bill No. 5808 was filed at the Calendaring and Registration Group, Bills and Index Service, with its full title entitled as:

“An Act defining Cybercrime, Providing for the Prevention, Investigation, Suppression and the Imposition of Penalties Therefor and for other Purposes,” which was principally authored by Representative Susan A. Yap and 34 co-author-House Members namely:

Daryl Grace J. Abayon, Romeo M. Acop, Juan Edgardo M. Angara, Tomas V. Apacible, Ma. Rachel J. Arenas, Ma. Amelita A. Calimbas-Villarosa, Winston “Winnie” Castelo, Antonio A. Del Rosario, Diosdado JM M. Arroyo, Mary Mitzi L. Cajayon, Anthony Rolando T. Golez Jr., Roilo S. Golez, Bernadette R. Herrera-Dy, Carmelo F. Lazatin, Roy M. Loyola, Gloria A. M. Macapagal-Arroyo, Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal-Arroyo, Eulogio “Amang” R. Magsaysay, Hermilando I. Mandanas, Romero Federico “Miro” S.
Quimbo, Maximo B. Rodriguez Jr., Rufus B. Rodriguez, Pedro P. Romualdo,
Cesar V. Sarmiento, Mel Senen S. Sarmiento, Eric G. Singson Jr., Ma. Victoria
R. Sy-Alvarado, Marcelino R. Teodoro, Irwin C, Tieng, Sigfrido R. Tinga, Jerry
P. Treñas, Mariano Michael M. Velarde Jr., Joseph Gilbert F. Violago, Luis R.

February 13, 2012

The Committee on Information and Communications Technology submitted
Committee Report No. 1818, relative to House Bill No. 5808, recommending its
approval. House Bill No. 5808 was substituted for the consolidated ten bills
previously filed in the House of Representatives, which were: House Bill Nos. 85,
167, 364, 383, 511, 1444, 2279, 3376, 4031, and 4162. Representative Sigfrido R.
Tinga sponsors House Bill No. 5808 at the plenary session.
May 9, 2012
On motion of Representative Janette L. Garin, the House of Representatives
considers on Second Reading House Bill No. 5808, contained in Committee
Report No. 1818 and reported by the Committee on Information and
Communications Technology. Upon direction of the Chair, Secretary General
Marilyn B. Barua-Yap read the title of the bill as:

“An Act defining Cybercrime, providing for the prevention,
investigation, suppression and the imposition of penalities
therefor and for other purposes.”

The Chair recognized Representative Sigfrido R. Tinga to sponsor said House
Bill, and Representative Raymond V. Palatino to interpellate theron. As
Members received copies of the distributed House Bill, Representative Mylene
J. Garcia-Albano motioned to dispense with the reading of the text. Representatives
Raymond V. Palatino, in his interpellation, reported his discussion with
Representative Sigfrido R. Tinga, previous cybercrime bills filed with respect
to cybersex. Sections 10 and 12 of the bill, which requires a court warrant before
collection, record of data, and disclosure by law enforcement agencies, is similar
to that of the Senate version of the bill. Other significant amendments discussed
were the clarification on cybersex operations, the categories/maganitude/examples
of cybercrime offenses, the Bill as part of President Aquino III’s legislative agenda.
The rest of the House Members thereafter discussed computer-related offenses
as the criminalization of the most common type of cybercrimes in the country.
Representative Tinga stressed that amendments to the E-Commerce Act
(Republic Act No. 8792) as insufficient for law enforcers to pursue cybercriminals.

Representative Palatino proposed to expand the scope of said law such as its
applicability to include recent cybercrimes committed. They discussed the
justification for the inclusion of cyberthreats and cyberdefamation as offenses
under Section 4 of the said bill, including case filing procedures and safeguard
measures in the issuance of search warrants, as mentioned in Section 10. He
also proposed amending Section 5 of the bill. All of which was agreed upon by
Representative Tinga. Representative Antonio L. Tinio questioned the extent and
scope of the said House Bill, after which, he discussed with Representative Tinga
its applicability on criminal activities involving computer usage, systems and other
similar technologies. The rest of the House Members discussed the bill’s
applicability to the prosecution of cybercrimes, which will not in any way
repeal the Anti-Wiretapping Act (Republic Act No. 4200), or amend the Human
Security Act (Republic Act No. 9372); and the retention of traffic data for a limited
time by service providers, in compliance with Article XVI of the Budapest
Convention was also discussed. House Bill No. 5808 was approved on Second
Reading without any objections.

May 21, 2012

House Bill No. 5808 was the 88th house bill approved on Third Reading.
All 211 House Members voted for its approval, with no objections and
abstentions. They were the following (Surnames only):
Abad, Abaya, Abayon, Acop, Aggabao, Agyao, Albano, Almario, Almonte,
Alvarez (A.), Andaya, Angping, Antonio, Apacible, Apostol, Aquino, Arago,
Arenas, Arnaiz, Arquiza, Arroyo (D.), Asilo, Aumentado, Bagasina, Bagatsing,
Balindong, Banal, Bataoil, Batocabe, Bautista, Bello, Belmonte (F.), Belmonte (V.),
Benitez, Bichara, Binay, Bulut-Begtang, Cabaluna, Cabilao Yambao, Cagas, Calimbas-
Villarosa, Calixto-Rubiano, Canonigo, Casiño, Castro, Catamco, Celeste, Cerafica,
Cerilles, Co, Cojuangco (K.), Cojuangco (E.), Collantes, Cosalan, Cruz-Gonzales,
Cua, Dalog, Datumanong, Dayanghirang, Daza, De Venecia, Defensor, Del Mar,
Del Rosario (A. A.), Del Rosario (A. G.), Dimaporo (I.), Duavit, Dy, Ebdane, Ejercito,
Emano, Eriguel, Escudero, Espina, Estrella, Fabian, Ferrer (A.), Ferrer (J.),
Ferriol, Flores, Fortuno, Fua, Fuentebella, Fuentes, Garay, Garbin, Garcia (A.),
Garcia (P.), Garcia (P.J.), Garin (J.), Gatchalian, Go (A.C.), Go (A.), Golez (A.),
Golez (R.), Gonzales (A.), Gonzales (N.), Gonzalez, Guanlao, Gullas, Gunigundo,
Haresco, Herrera-Dy, Ilagan, Jaafar, Jalosjos (S.), Javier, Joson, Kho (A.), Kho (D.),
Labadlabad, Lacson-Noel, Lagdameo (A.), Lagdameo (M.), Lapus, Lazatin, Leonen-
Pizarro, Lico, Loong, Lopez (C.), Lopez (C.J.), Loyola, Madrona, Magsaysay (E.),
Maliksi, Mandanas, Marcoleta, Marcos, Mariano, Matugas, Mellana, Mendoza (J.),
Mendoza (M.), Mendoza (R.), Mercado (H.), Mercado (R.), Miraflores, Montejo,
Noel, Obillo, Ocampo, Ocampos, Olivarez, Ong, Ortega (F.), Ortega (V.), Osmeña,
Padilla, Paez, Palatino, Palmones, Pancho, Pangandaman (N.), Panotes, Paras,
Payuyo, Piamonte, Pichay, Ping-ay, Ponce-Enrile, Puno, Quisumbing,
Radaza, Ramos, Relampagos, Rivera, Robes, Rodriguez (I.), Rodriguez (M.),
Rodriguez (R.), Roman, Romarate, Romualdez, Romualdo, Romulo, Sacdalan,
Sakaluran, Salvacion, Sambar, San Luis, Sarmiento (C.), Sarmiento (M.), Sema,
Singson (E.), Singson (R.L.), Socrates, Suarez, Sy-Alvarado, Tan, Teodoro, Teves,
Tieng, Tinga, Tinio, Tomawis, Treñas, Tugna, Ty, Umali (R.), Unabia, Ungab, Unico,
Valencia, Velarde, Velasco, Vergara, Villafuerte, Villarica, Yap (A.), Yu, Zubiri

Note: The next part of this blog deals with the Bicameral Conference Committee
Report on the Proposed Amendments to House and Senate Bills Nos. (5808 and
2796, respectively), and the Presidential approval of the Cybercrime Prevention
Law (RA 10173).

Related Links:

I. Legislative Issuances

A. Acts of the Philippine Commission
1. ACT No. 3815 or the Revised Penal Code (Online Official Gazette)

B. Republic Acts
1. Republic Act No. 4200 or the Anti-Wiretapping Act
(Only Hard Copy Available)
Official Gazette Volume 62, No. 20,
Page 3350,
(Issue date: May 16, 1966)

2. Republic Act No. 8792 or the Electronic Commerce
(E-Commerce ) Act
(Only Hard Copy Available)
Official Gazette Supplement Volume 94,
No. 32, page 51,
(Issue date: August 10, 1998)

3. Republic Act No. 9372 (Human Security Act)
(Only Hard Copy Available)
Official Gazette Volume 103, No. 17,
Page 2223
(Issue date: April 23, 2007)

4. Republic Act No. 9775 (Anti-Child Pornography Act
of 2009)
(Only Hard Copy Available)
Official Gazette Volume 106, No. 6,
Page 746
(Issue date: February 8, 2010)

5. Republic Act No. 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Law of 2012)

a. House and Senate Bills on Republic Act No. 10175
(On-line Sources):
A. Text of Bills
Note: Scroll and Click “HB05808 [Text as engrossed…] “
1. Senate Bill No. 2796
2. House Bill No. 5808

B. Deliberations
1. Senate Deliberations (Senate Bill No. 2796)
a. For the Record: Public records of Senate Deliberations on the
Cybercrime Prevention Bill: September 12, 2011, December 12,
2011, December 13, 2011,
b. January 24, 2012, and January 30, 2012 Timelines

2. House Deliberations (House Bill No. 5808)
a. February 9, 2012, History of Bills

Note: Scroll and Click HB05808 [History]

3. February 13, 2012, House Journal No. 36, page 39)

4. May 9, 2012, House Journal No. 49,
pages 19-20

5. May 21, 2012 House Journal No. 50,
page 37 (approval), pages 38-40 (votation)

II. Supreme Court Cases

A. Supreme Court Case: Lacsa vs. Intermediate Appeallate Court
(G. R. No. 74907, May 23, 1988)

B. Supreme Court Case: Mendez vs. Court of Appeals
(G. R. No. 124491, June 1, 1999)

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Eid’l Adha in the Philippines 2012… A Legislative History (& A Late Blog Post)

In recognition of Muslim contribution to Philippine culture, the government has decided to include Eid’l Adha as part of the Philippine holidays to be celebrated.  Eid’l Adha is also known as the Hari Raya Haji, Hari Raya Kurban, Qurban or in English in what is known as the Festival of Sacrifice.  But what is the significance of the occasion?   Eid’l Adha honors Ibrahim’s (Islamic name for Abraham) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (Islamic name for Ishmael), in obedience to Allah’s  (Islamic name for God) commandment, as a test of his faith. This is similar to the Jewish Biblical version of Abraham’s testing of his faith and obedience to God.  God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac on Mount Moriah. 

This year, 2012, Eid’l Adha celebrations fall on October 26.  


How Muslims Celebrate Eid’l Adha

Eid’l Adha is celebrated on the 10th to the 13th day of the 12th Islamic Lunar month of Dul Hajj which literally means Possessor of the Pilgrimage.  It is during this month that Muslims worldwide go on a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to visit the Kaaba.  The Hajj (pilgrimage) is performed on the eighth and ninth day of the Dul Hajj.  The ninth day, is called the Day of Arafat.  It is on this day where  Muslims on a pilgrimage travel from Mecca to a nearby hillside and plain called Mount Arafat and the Plain of Arafat. It was at this site that the Prophet Muhammad made his Farewell Sermon in the final year of his life.  Muslim pilgrims stand in devotion, starting at dawn,  praying for Allah’s forgiveness.  Even those Muslims who are not participating in this pilgrimage often spend this day in prayer and fasting.

The celebration of Eid’l Adha starts with morning prayers to remember Allah, and pray for the deceased souls of loved ones and acquaintances may rest in peace before breakfast.  A sacrificial animal without blemish is slaughtered according to Islamic tradition.  They may be either a male or female goat (at least a year old), sheep (at least six months old), cow/ox/buffalo (at least two years old), or camel (at least five years old).  The person, upon slaughtering the sacrificial animal recites the most essential prayers, namely: Bismillah, Allahu Akbar (In the name of Allah, Allah is the greatest).  The slaughtered animal is distributed equally into three parts, namely:  to family members, neighbors, and the poor.
Children as well as adults greet each other Eid’l Adha Mubarak as a greeting of happiness, peace and love.

Legislative History of Eid’l Adha in the Philippines

A.    Marcos Administration

 The legal origins of the celebration of Eid’l Adha in the Philippines started during Martial Law.  On September 12, 1973, former President Ferdinand Marcos signed Presidential Decree No. 291 recognizing Muslim holidays and providing for their implementation.  Section 2 (a) of Presidential Decree No. 291, as amended, mentions the celebration of Eid’l Adha .  One month later, on October 26, 1973, Presidential Decree No. 291 was amended by Presidential Decree No. 322, wherein the celebration of Eid’l Adha or Hariraya Haj (terminology used in Singapore and Malaysia) was stated in Section (b) of said Decree occurring on the 10th day of the 12th Lunar month of Dul Hajj, and declaring it as part of the national holidays of the Philippines.

B.    Macapagal-Arroyo Administration

Under former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s regime, Eid’l Adha was made a regional holiday in the Autonomous Region in Muslim MIndanao (ARMM), by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177 which she approved on November 13, 2002,  and Section 1 c) of Republic Act No. 9492 on July 24, 2007. Based on the declaration of the Grand Mufti (highest religious body) of Saudi Arabia, Eid’l Adha was celebrated last February 23, 2002 and December 20,  2007.

Republic Act No. 9492 was  implemented by Paragraph 1, Subparagraph 2 of the Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 81-1277, issued on November 13, 1981,  stating the working hours of Muslim government employees and excusing them from being absent from work, as they observe religious celebrations such as the  Eid’l Adha.  Proclamation No. 1808 was then issued on April 12, 2009 making November 27-28, 2009 a national holiday to celebrate Eid’l Adha.  Its basis was to accommodate Filipino ethnic traditions such as Muslim holidays into mainstream Philippine society.  Macapagal-Arroyo changed her mind and reverted the celebration as a regional holiday, per Proclamation No. 1808-A issued on November 4, 2009.  She finally made it a national holiday through Section 3 of Proclamation No. 1841 which she signed on July 21, 2009.

C.     Aquino III Administration

Republic Act No. 9849 was the basis for all proclamations issued by President Benigno C. Aquino III, declaring Eid’l Adha which is the tenth day of the Zul Hijja, or the 12th month of the Islamic Calendar as a national holiday.  This is similar to a previous law which is Presidential Decree No. 322, except that this decree declares the occasion as a regional holiday. 

The following are the proclamations issued by Aquino III, based on Republic Act No. 9849:

a.     Proclamation No. 60, signed on November 9, 2010, declaring November 16, 2010 a national holiday to celebrate the occasion;     

b.     Proclamation No. 276 approved on  October 20, 2011 which sets a specific date for the celebration of Eid’l Adha as November 7, last 2011;

c.      Proclamation No. 295, issued last November 24, 2011, where Section 2 states the basis of determining the holiday’s specific date, subject to the advisory of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos; and

d.     Proclamation No. 488 issued last October 9, 2012, which sets the date of this Muslim holiday on October 26, 2012, as declared by Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, the highest religious body in that country

D.    Commission/Department Issuances:

As per the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Resolution No. 2, issued last January 12, 2012, all government agencies are requested to comply with the said Civil Service Commission Resolution.

As part of the Philippine and worldwide holidays…let us greet all Muslims worldwide…Eid’l Adha Mubarak!



I. Philippine Laws:

A.    Presidential Decrees:

A.    Presidential Decrees (Official Gazette Hard Copy,

no On-line Official Gazette copy available):

1. Presidential Decree No. 291  (Official Gazette Hard Copy,

no On-line Official Gazette copy available):

    Official Gazette Volume 69,

    No. 38, page 8531

    (Issue date:  September 17, 1973)

2. Presidential Decree No. 322

    Official Gazette Supplement Volume 69,

    No. 45, page 10308-C

    (Issue date: November 5, 1973)

B.    Republic Acts:

1.     Republic Act No. 9177

2.     Republic Act No. 9492

3.     Republic Act No. 9849

C.     Presidential Proclamations:

1.     Proclamation No. 1808, series 2009

2.     Proclamation No. 1808-A, series 2009

3.     Proclamation No. 1841, series 2009

4.     Proclamation  No. 60, series 2010

5.     Proclamation No. 276, series 2011

6.     Proclamation No. 295, series 2011

7.     Proclamation No. 488, series 2012

D.    Commission/Department Issuances:

1.     Civil Service Commission Resolution No. 81-1277, Series 1981

 November 13, 1981 (page 4 of pdf)

2.National Commission on Muslim Filipinos Resolution No. 2, series 2012, (pages 2-3 of pdf)”>

II.Newspaper Articles (On-line):

III.URL Websites:

A.    Wikipedia

B.    Other URL Websites

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Pet Cemeteries in the Philippines

November 1, marks the holiday of All Saint’s Day in the Philippines.  During this occasion, Filipinos troop to the cemeteries to remember their dead loved ones.  They clean the tombs and offer flowers and prayers for the deceased.  During this same day, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) announced that it is devoting 100 square meters of its facilities, to be used as pet cemeteries.  This will serve as  burial sites for these beloved, deceased pet animals, in the absence of  burial sites for these dead pets.  Since space is limited, these burial spaces are located atop of each other.  PAWS charges excavation and burial services of P500 for small animals and P1,000 for big ones.  An additional payment of P2,000 is charged if dedications in memory of these dead pets will be posted on a memorial wall which PAWS designated.

PAWS reasons out that animals need a decent burial too, aside from human beings.  This system is done not only for sentimental reasons but for sanitary conditions.  In the absence of a backyard or nearby empty lot, most Filipinos mistreat a dead pet by just placing them inside a garbage bag and throwing them  at the back of a passing garbage truck.  This is considered an undignified way of treating pets who have become part of the family for many years. 

Philippine legislation on the disposal of dead animals is stated in Section 8.3, Subsection 8.3.1 of Chapter XIX of Presidential Decree No. 856, or the Code on Sanitation.  Under this subsection, animal carcasses must be disposed of within 24 hours upon its death.  If the animal could not be buried within 24 hours due to lack of space and the unavailability of PAWS personnel to facilitate its burial,  it may be preserved by placing  on ice and utilizing a black plastic garbage bag to seal it.


Related Links:

1.     Philippine Laws

A.    Presidential Decree No. 856 (On-line Official Gazette)

B.    Presidential Decree No. 856, Implementing Rules and Regulations

(URL Website)

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Filed under Burial Sites, Cemeteries, PAWS Pet Cemetery, Pet Cemeteries

Philippine House of Representatives 105th Anniversary, (Part III, Final Part – Roster of House Officials and Members, 1907 – Present)

Note: Philippine House of Representatives established October 16, 1907

Roster of House of Representatives Officials (1907- Present)

A.    Speakers :

        Sergio S. Osmeña, Sr. (1907 – 1922);

        Manuel A. Roxas (1922 – 1933),

        Quintin B. Paredes (1933 – 1935);

        Gil M. Montilla (1935 – 1938);

        Jose Y. Yulo (1938 – 1941);

        Benigno S. Aquino, Sr. (1943 – 1944);

        Jose C. Zulueta (1945);

        Eugenio P. Perez (1946 – 1953);

        Jose B. Laurel,  Jr. (1954  – 1957);

        Daniel Z. Romualdez (1957 – 1962);

        Cornelio T. Villareal (1962 – 1967);

        Jose B. Laurel, Jr. (1967 – 1971);

        Cornelio T. Villareal (1971 – 1972);

        Querube C. Makalintal (1978 – 1984);

        Nicanor E. Yñiguez (1984 – 1986),

        Ramon V. Mitra, Jr. (1987 – 1992);

        Jose C. De Venecia, Jr. (2001 – 2008);

        Manuel B. Villar, Jr. (1998 – 2000);

        Arnulfo P. Fuentebella (2000 – 2001);

        Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. (2001);

        Jose C. De Venecia, Jr. (2001- 2009);

        Prospero C. Nograles (2008 – 2010);

        Feliciano R.  Belmonte, Jr. (2010 – Present)


B.    Speakers Pro Tempore :

Antonio de las Alas (1923-1929; 1931-1933);

       Quintin B. Paredes (1929-1930; 1933);

       Jose C. Zulueta (1933-1941);

       Prospero C. Sanidad  (1945-1946);

       Francisco I. Ortega (1946-1949);

       Domingo Veloso (1950-1953);

       Daniel Z. Romualdez (1954-1957);

       Constancio E. Castañeda (1958-1962);

       Salipada K. Pendatun (1962-1967, 1984-1985);

       Jose M. Aldeguer (1967-1972);

       Blah Sinsuat 1978-1984;

       Macacuna Dimaporo (1985-1986);

       Antonio V. Cuenco (1987-1992);

       Raul A. Daza (1992-1995)


C.     Deputy Speakers

         Alfredo E. Abueg, Jr. (1998-2000); Eduardo R. Gullas (1998-2000);

         Daisy Avance-Fuentes (1998-2001); Erico B. Aumentado (2000); 

         Agapito S. Aquino (2000-2001);  Gerardo S. Espina (2000-2001);

         Raul M. Gonzalez (2001); Nur C. Jaafar (2001); Carlos M. Padilla (2001);

         Ma. Isabelle G. Climaco (2010-Present); Raul A. Daza (2010-Present);

         Arnulfo P. Fuentebella (2010-Present); Pablo P. Garcia (2010-Present);

         Jesus Crispin C. Remulla (2010-Present); Lorenzo R. Tañada III (2010-Present)

1. Deputy Speakers For Luzon:

    Hernando B. Perez (1995-1998);

    Emilio R. Espinosa, Jr. (2001-2004; 2004-2007);

Benigno S. Aquino III (Central Luzon, 2004-2006);

   Eric D. Singson (Central Luzon, 2006-2007)

2. Deputy Speaker For Visayas: 

     Raul A. Daza (1995-1998); Raul M. Gonzalez (2001-2004);

     Raul V. Del Mar (2004-2007)

3. Deputy Speaker For Mindanao:   

    Simeon A. Datumanong (1995-1998);

    Abdulgani “Gerry” A. Salapuddin  (2001-2004; 2004-2007)


D.    Floor Leaders/Majority Floor Leaders/Minority Floor Leaders:

     1. Floor Leaders

         Manuel L. Quezon (1908-1910);

         Alberto Barretto (1910-1912);

         Macario Adriatico (1912-1914);

         Galicano Apacible (1914-1916);

         Rafael Alunan (1916-1922);

         Benigno S. Aquino (1922-1927);

         Manuel C. Briones (1928-1933);

         Pedro Sabido (1933);

         Francisco Varona (1934);

         Jose E. Romero (1934-1938);

         Quintin B. Paredes (1939-1941)

    2. Majority Floor Leaders/Majority Leaders:

      a. Majority Floor Leaders :

          Raul T. Leuterio (1946-1953);

          Arturo M. Tolentino (1954-1957);

          Jose M. Aldeguer (1958-1961);

          Francisco I. Ortega (1962);

          Justiniano S. Montaño (1962-1967);

          Marcelino R. Veloso (1967-1972);

          Jose A. Roño (1978-1986);

          Francisco S. Sumulong, Sr. (1987-1992);

          Ronaldo B. Zamora (1992-1994);

          Rodolfo B. Albano, Jr. (1994-1998);

          Manuel A. Roxas II (1998-2000);

          Eduardo R. Gullas (2000);

          Bellaflor Angara-Castillo (2000-2001);

          Sergio A. F. Apostol (2001);

          Neptali M. Gonzales II (2001-2004);

          Prospero C. Nograles (2004-2007)

     b.Majority Leader : Neptali M. Gonzales II (2010-Present)

     c. Minority Floor Leaders/Minority Leaders:

      i. Minority Floor Leaders :

         Cipriano P. Primicias (1946-1949;

         Jose C. Zulueta (1950-1953);

         Eugenio P. Perez (1954-1957); 

         Ferdinand E. Marcos (1958-19590);

         Cornelio T. Villareal (1960-1962);

         Daniel Z. Romualdez (1962-1965); 

         Jose B. Laurel, Jr. (1965-1967);

         Justiniano S. Montano (1967-1971);

         Ramon V. Mitra (1971-1972); 

         Ramon Felipe, Jr. (1972);

         Hilario G. Davide, Jr. (1978-1984); 

         Jose B. Laurel, Jr. (1985-1986);

         Rodolfo B. Albano (1987-1989); 

         Mohammad Ali B. Dimaporo (1989-1990);

         Salvador H. Escudero III (1990-1992);

         Victor F. Ortega (1992);

         Hernando B. Perez (1992-1995); 

         Ronaldo B. Zamora (1995-1998); 

         Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. (1998-2001);

         Agapito S. Aquino (2001);

         Carlos M. Padilla (2001-2004);

         Francis Joseph G. Escudero (2004-2007)

    ii. Minority Leader:

         Edcel C. Lagman (2010-2012);

         Danilo E. Suarez (2012-Present)

 E.    House Members (1907-Present)

Since the members will occupy so much space in this blog, the following URL Website mentions all the Members of the House of Representatives from 1907 to the present.  Click each letter of the alphabet to access the members according to their family names.

 F.     Secretaries/Secretary-General of the House of Representatives:

Julian Gerona  (1907); Gregorio Nieva (1907-1909); Manuel G. Gavieres (Acting Secretary, 1910); Ramon Diokno (1910-1912); Teodoro Kalaw (1912-1916); Rafael Villanueva (1916-1919); Rafael Palma (1919-1922); and 1935-1957); Feliciano Gomez (1923-1925); Ricardo Gonzalez Lloret (1925-1929); Julian Lao (1934); Eulogio Benitez  (1934-1935); Inocencio B. Pareja (1957-1972); Antonio M. De Guzman  (1978-1986); Quirino D. Abad Santos, Jr. (1987-1992); Camilo L. Sabio (1992-1996); Roberto P. Nazareno (1996-2010); Marilyn B. Barua-Yap (2008-Present)


G.    Sergeant-At-Arms

Narciso Diokno (1946-1949); Antonio C. Garcia (1949-1953); Narciso Diokno (1953-1961); Simeon D. Salonga (1961-1972); Raoul V. Cauton (1978-1979); Anselmo Avenido, Jr. (1979-1984); Cesar P. Pobre (1984-1986); Serapio P. Taccad (1987-1992); Bayani N. Fabic (1992-2008); Horacio T. Lactao (2008-2010); Nicasio J. Radovan (2010-Present)



Related Links :

A.    Books

1.     Roster of Philippine Legislators, 1907-1987 published by the (Philippine House of Representatives Congressional Library, published 1989

2.     Assembly of the Nation: A Centennial History of the House of

                       Representatives published by the (Philippine) House of

                       Representatives, published 2007,

                       page 266

                       (Note: Page 266 of this book edited by

                       the Philippine House of Representatives

                       Congressional Library Bureau;

                       official edited version not released)


B.    Websites (URL):

1.     Wikipedia

2.     House of Representatives Website

a.     Roster of Members of the Philippine House of Representatives

        (1907 – Present)

b.     All Members of the Philippine House of Representatives

        (1907 – Present, their terms of office)

C.     Organization – Congressional Library Bureau, House of Representatives






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Filed under House Deputy Speakers, House Majority Floor Leaders and Majority Leaders, House Members, House Minority Floor Leaders and Minority Leaders, House of Representatives of the Philippines, House Secretaries and Secretary-Generals, House Sergeant-at-Arms, House Speakers, Sergeant-at-Arms

Philippine House of Representatives 105th Anniversary, (Part II – Legislative Summary)

House of Representatives : A Legislative Summary (1907 – Present)


Note: Philippine House of Representatives established October 16, 1907


Legislative Body Legislative Period Laws Enacted Remarks
(See Notes below)
From To
Philippine Commission  September 1, 1900 August 31, 1902 ACT Numbers 1 – 449 1
Philippine Commission September 1, 1902  August 31, 1903 ACT Numbers 450 – 862 1
Philippine Commission September 1, 1903  August 31, 1904 ACT Numbers 863 – 1225 1
Philippine Commission September 1, 1904 August 31, 1905 ACT Numbers 1226 – 1383 1
Philippine Commission September 1, 1905  August 31, 1906 ACT Numbers 1384 – 1536 1
Philippine Commission September 1, 1906  October 15, 1907 ACT Numbers 1537 – 1800 1
1st Philippine Legislature October 16, 1907  May 20, 1909 ACT Numbers 1801 – 1970 1
2nd Philippine Legislature March 28, 1910  February 6, 1912 ACT Numbers 1971 – 2191 1
3rd Philippine Legislature October 16, 1912 February 24, 1915 ACT Numbers 2192 – 2664 1
4th Philippine Legislature October 16, 1916  March 8, 1919 ACT Numbers 2665 – 2868 2

5th Philippine Legislature July 21, 1919  March 14, 1922 ACT Numbers 2869 – 3059 2
6th Philippine Legislature October 27, 1922 February 8, 1925 ACT Numbers 3060 – 3220 2
7th Philippine Legislature July 16, 1925 November 9, 1927 ACT Numbers 3221 – 3430 2
8th Philippine Legislature July 16, 1928 November 7, 1930 ACT Numbers 3431 – 3822 2
9th Philippine Legislature July 16, 1931 May 5, 1934 ACT Numbers 3823 – 4126 2
10th Philippine Legislature July 16, 1934 November 21, 1935 ACT Numbers4127 – 4275 2
1st National Assembly (Commonwealth Period) November 25, 1935   August 15, 1938 Common-wealth Act Numbers 1 – 415 3
2ndNational Assembly (Commonwealth Period) January 24, 1939 December 16, 1941 Common-wealth Act Numbers 416 – 729 3
National Assembly (Japanese Regime) October 18, 1943 February 2, 1944 No Laws Enacted 4
1st Congress of the Commonwealth June 9, 1945 December 20, 1945 No Laws Enacted 5
2nd Congress of the Commonwealth (Liberation Period) May 25, 1946 July 3, 1946 No Laws Enacted 6
1st Congress of the Republic July 5, 1946 December 13, 1949 Republic Act Numbers 1 – 421 7
2nd Congress of the Republic December 30, 1949 December 18, 1953 Republic Act Numbers 422 – 972 7
3rd Congress of the Republic January 25, 1954 December 10, 1957 Republic Act Numbers 973 – 2049 7
4th Congress of the Republic January 27, 1958 December 13, 1964 Republic Act Numbers 2050 – 3450 7
5th Congress of the Republic January 22, 1962 December 17, 1965 Republic Act Numbers 3451 – 4642 7
6th Congress of the Republic January 17, 1966 June 17, 1969 Republic Act Numbers 4643 – 6123 7
7th Congress of the Republic January 26, 1970 September 23, 1972 Republic Act Numbers 6124 – 6635 7
Interim Batasang Pambansa June 12, 1978 June 5, 1984 Batas Pambansa Bilang 1-865 8
Batasang Pambansa July 23, 1984 March 25, 1986 Batas Pambansa Bilang 866 – 889 9
8th Congress of the Republic July 27, 1987 June 22, 1992 Republic Act Numbers 6636 – 7635 10
9th Congress of the Republic July 27, 1992 May 26, 1995 Republic Act Numbers 7636 – 8171 10
10th Congress of the Republic July 24, 1995 February 20, 1998 Republic Act Numbers 8172 – 8744 10
11th Congress of the Republic July 27, 1998 May 30, 2001 Republic Act Numbers 8745 – 9159 10
12th Congress of the Republic July 23, 2001 May 28, 2004 Republic Act Numbers 9160 – 9332 10
13th Congress of the Republic July 26, 2004 July 24, 2006 Republic Act Numbers 9333 – 9495 10
14th Congress of the Republic July 23, 2007 June 9, 2010 Republic Act Numbers 9496 – 10146 10
15th Congress of the Republic July 26, 2010 Present Republic Act Numbers 10147 – 10184 (as of October 18, 2012) 10


1    Cooper Act of July 1, 1902 popularly known as the Philippine

Bill of 1902

2    Cooper Act of July 1, 1902 popularly known as the Philippine

Bill of 1902; Philippine Autonomy Act, or the Jones Act,

enacted on August 29, 1916

3    The Philippine Independence Act or Tydings-

McDuffie Law (U. S. Public Law 73-12724 March


4    1943 Constitution

5    All 5 Special Sessions Convened; no regular session

6    Convening of Pre-War Legislators elected during

November 1941

7    National Assembly Resolution No. 73 dated April 11, 1940

(Constitutional Amendments); Article VI, Section 9, 1935

Philippine Constitution; Republic Act No. 6

8   Article VIII,  Section 6, 1973 Philippine Constitution

9   Article VIII, Section 6,1973 Philippine Constitution;

President Corazon C. Aquino issued Proclamation No.

3 on March 25, 1986 abolishing the Batasang


10 Article VI, Section 15, 1987 Philippine


Total Laws Enacted by:

1. The Philippine Commission (1900-1907)

= 1,800 laws

2. The Philippine Legislature (1907-1935)

= 2,475 laws

3. National Assembly, Commonwealth Period (1935- 1941)

= 729 laws

4. Interim Batasang Pambansa (1978-1984)

= 865 laws

5. Regular Batasang Pambansa, (1984-1986)

= 24 laws

6. Congress of the Republic (1946-1972; 1987-Present)

= 10,184 laws

Total Laws enacted, as of October 24, 2012

= 16, 081 laws

Related Links :

A.    Philippine Laws

1.     Philippine Constitution (Official Gazette URL & Non-URL Website)

a.     1935

b.     1943

c.     1973

d.      1987

2.     Republic Acts

a.     Republic Act No. 6

        Official Gazette, volume  42, no. 8,

        page 1794

        (Issue date: August 1946)

3.     Presidential Proclamations

a.     Proclamation No. 1081 (1972 Imposition of Martial Law; Online Official Gazette)

b.     Proclamation No. 3 series 1986

        Official Gazette volume 82, no. 13,

         page 1567

         (Issue date: March 31, 1986)

B. United States Laws (URL Website)

1.  Cooper Act or Philippine Bill of 1902

2.  Jones Law or Philippine Autonomy Act of 1916

3.     Public Law (of the U. S. Congress) 73-127

popularly known as The Tydings-McDuffie Law

or The Philippine Independence Act

C. House of Representatives indexes, off-line and on-line indexes

      1.  Compendium of Philippine Laws, volumes 1 and 2,

           published by the Congressional Library Bureau,

           (Philippine House of Representatives), 1989

      2. House of Representatives Website          

      a. Roster of Members of the House of Representatives

              (1907 – Present)

      b. All Members of the Philippine House of Representatives

              (1907 – Present, their terms of office)

D. Organizations

     Congressional Library Bureau,  

     House of Representatives of the Philippines

E. Wikipedia

Comments Off on Philippine House of Representatives 105th Anniversary, (Part II – Legislative Summary)

Filed under 1907 - 1935 Philippine Legislature, 1935 - 1941 National Assembly of the Commonwealth Period, 1943-1944 National Assembly of the Japanese Regime, 1945-1946 Congress of the Commonwealth, 1946 - 1972 Congress of the Republic, 1978 - 1986 Interim and Regular Batasang Pambansa, 1987-Present Congress of the Republic, ACTS of the Philippine Commission, Batas Pambasa, Commonwealth Acts, Constitution of the Philippines, House of Representatives of the Philippines, Laws, Legislative Bodies, Legislative Bodies of the Philippine Congress, Legislative Period, Philippine Independence Act of 1934, Philippine Organic Act of 1902, Republic Acts, Sergeant-at-Arms, Tydings-McDuffie Law

Philippine House of Representatives 105th Anniversary, (Part I – Trivia)

October 16, 1907 marks the establishment of the Philippine House of Representatives.  Its legal basis is the Philippine Organic Act, approved on July 1, 1902.  This is popularly known as the Philippine Bill of 1902, and sometimes known as the Cooper Act, after the U. S. Legislator Henry A. Cooper.  The law establishes the Philippine Assembly which eventually became the House of Representatives.  Below is the title of the enacted law:


                                          –57th Congress of the United States of America, First Session, 1902

The following is a summary of significant information on the Lower House of Congress :

House of Representatives Trivia

I. Gender:  First Woman Legislator- Elisa R. Ochoa

                     (National Assembly, Japanese Regime

                      who represented Agusan Province)

Note: The Philippines was under the Japanese

              Rule at that time

 II. House Members Who Were Elected and Died Thereafter Before Assuming Office :

A.   Salud Vivero Parreño (7th Congress of the Republic)

B.   Percival B. Catane  (11th  Congress of the Republic)

III. Legislative Period:  

A. Shortest Legislative Period  – 2nd Congress of the Commonwealth

     (One month and 9 days, 05/25/1946 to 07/03/1946)

B. Longest Legislative Period – 8th Congress of the Republic

     (4 years, 5 months and 22 days, 07/27/1987 to 06/22/1992)

IV. Philippine Presidents

A.  Who Were Former House Members:

1.   Manuel L. Quezon (1st Philippine Legislature, 1907-1909)

2.   Sergio Osmeña  (1st –  5th Philippine Legislature, 1907-1922)

3.   Elpidio Quirino (5th Philippine Legislature, 1919-1922)

4.   Manuel A. Roxas (6th to 10th Philippine Legislature, 1922-1935,

       1st National Assembly, 1935-1938)                  

5.   Carlos P. Garcia (7th Philippine Legislature, 1925-1927;

       8th Philippine Legislature, 1928-1930)

6.  Ramon Magsaysay Sr. (2nd Congress of the Commonwealth, 1946;

      1st Congress of the Republic, 1946-1949; 2nd Congress of the

       Republic, 1950)

10. Diosdado Macapagal (2nd Congress of the Republic, 1950-1953; 3rd

       Congress of the Republic, 1954-1957)

11.Ferdinand E. Marcos (2nd Congress of the Republic, 1950-1953;

     3rd Congress of the Republic,1954-1957;  4th Congress of the Republic,

     1958-1959; Interim Batasang Pambansa, 1978-1984;  Regular Batasang

     Pambansa, President, 1984-1986 (the President was member of the Batasang


12.Benigno C. Aquino III (12th Congress of the Republic, 2001-2004)

 B.    Who Were Elected House Members After the Presidency

         Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (15th Congress of the Republic, 2010- Present)


V. Provinces with No Representative during a Particular Legislative Period:

A.     Cagayan Province,  5th Philippine Legislature 

         – Bonifacio Cortez election declared null and void

B.     Sarangani Province, 10th Congress of the Republic  

         –  Juan Domino election declared null and void

 VI.    Speakership

A.    Speakers :

1.     First Speaker from Mindanao:

        Prospero C. Nograles  –  (14th Congress of the Republic, 2008-2010)

2.    Speaker with the Longest Term of Office

       Sergio Osmeña  (1st – 5th Philippine Legislature, 1907-1922)

3.    Speaker with the Shortest Term of Office: Arnulfo P. Fuentebella

       (11th Congress of the Republic, 2000-2001)

 B.    Deputy Speakers

1.     First Deputy Speakers

a.     Alfredo E. Abueg, Jr. (1998-2000);

b.     Eduardo R. Gullas (1998-2000)

c.      Daisy Avance-Fuentes (1998-2001)

2.     First Deputy Speakers with Major Regional Representation :

a.     From Luzon : Hernando B. Perez (1995-1998)

b.     From the Visayas: Raul A. Daza (1995-1998)

c.      From Mindanao : Simeon A. Datumanong (1995-1998)

C.     Floor Leaders:

1.     First Floor Leader:  Manuel L. Quezon (1908-1910)

2.     First Majority Floor Leader: Raul T. Leuterio (1946-1953)

3.     First Minority Floor Leader: Cipriano P. Primicias (1946-1949)


VII. Secretaries

A.    First Woman Appointed as Secretary-General :

        Marilyn B. Barua-Yap

        (14th Congress of the Republic, 2008-2010,

          15th Congress of the Republic, 2010-Present)

B.     House Secretary/Secretary Generals Elected from among

            the House Members:  

1.     Gregorio Nieva (1907-1909)

2.     Manuel G. Gavieres (Acting Secretary, 1910)

3.     Ramon Diokno (1910-1912)

4.      Teodoro Kalaw (1912- 1916)

5.      Rafael Villanueva (1916-1919)

6.      Rafael Palma (1919-1922); and 1935-1957)

7.      Feliciano Gomez (1923-1925)

8.      Ricardo Gonzalez Lloret (1925-1929)

9.     Eulogio Benitez  (1934-1935)  

B.     Secretary/Secretary General with the Longest Term of Office:

Narciso Pimentel, 27 years(Acting Secretary, 1922-1923;

        Secretary, 1929-1933 and 1935-1957)

10.  First Designated Secretary-General:

        Antonio M. De Guzman (Regular Batasang Pambansa)

VIII. Sergeant-at-Arms:

First Sergeant-at-ArmsNarciso Diokno (1946-1949)


 IX.Floor Leaders/Minority Floor Leaders/Majority Floor Leaders/

Minority Leaders/Majority Leaders  Who Became House Speakers:

1.    Benigno S. Aquino

2.   Quintin B. Paredes 

3.   Prospero C. Nograles


X. House Members:

A.    Three-Generation House of Representatives Legislators

(Direct Descendants):

1.     Aguilar Family: Filemon C. Aguilar, daughter Cynthia A.Villar,

        son Mark A. Villar

2.    Antonino Family: Gaudencio Antonino, son Adelbert Antonino,

        granddaughter, Darlene Antonino-Custodio

3.     Cojuangco Family  : Melecio Cojuangco, son Jose Cojuangco,

        grandson Jose S. Cojuangco, Jr.  

4.    Laurel Family : Jose P. Laurel, son Jose B. Laurel, Jr.,

        grandchildren Jose Macario Laurel IV and Milagros Laurel-Trinidad

5.    Macapagal Family : Diosdado Macapagal, daughter

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, grandsons Juan Miguel Macapagal-Arroyo

       and Diosdado Ignacio M. Arroyo  

6.   Mitra Family : Ramon P. Mitra, son Ramon V. Mitra, Jr.,

       grandson Abraham Khalil B. Mitra

7.   Marcos Family : Mariano Marcos, son Ferdinand E. Marcos,

       granddaughter Imee R. Marcos

8.   Ponce Enrile Family : Alfonso Ponce Enrile, son Juan Ponce

Enrile, grandson  Juan C. Ponce Enrile, Jr.

9.  Roxas Family : Manuel A. Roxas, son Gerardo M. Roxas,

      grandsons Gerardo A. Roxas Jr. and Manuel A. Roxas II

10.Recto Family : Claro M. Recto, son Rafael R. Recto,

     grandson Rafael G. Recto

B. Four-Generation House of Representatives Legislators

(Direct Descendants)

1.  Fuentebella Family  :  Jose Fuentebella, son Felix A. Fuentebella,

     grandson Arnulfo P. Fuentebella, great grandson

     Felix William B. Fuentebella

C. Husband-Wife-Son/Daughter House Legislators:  

1.  Antonino Family : Gaudencio Antonino, wife Magnolia Antonino,

     son Adelbert Antonino

2.  Gonzalez Family : Raul M. Gonzalez, wife Pacita T. Gonzalez,

      son Raul T. Gonzalez, Jr. 

3.  Marcos Family : Ferdinand E. Marcos, wife Imelda R. Marcos

     daughter Imee R. Marcos

4.  Villar Family : Manuel B. Villar, Jr., wife Cynthia A. Villar,

      son Mark A. Villar

5.  Villareal Family : Cornelio T. Villareal, wife Julita Lorenzo-Villareal,

      son Raul L. Villareal

 D.    House Member Who Sat for Only One Session Date :

Former Representative Noel Cariño of Pasig City during the 12th

Congress of the Republic who won against Henry P. Lanot on 1/22/2004

and sat during Sine die 6/11/2004


Related Links

A.    Books

1.     Roster of Philippine Legislators, 1907-1987,  

        published by the (Philippine) House of Representatives

        Congressional Library, 1989

2.     Assembly of the Nation: A Centennial History of the

House of Representatives, published by the (Philippine)

        House of Representatives, 2007, page 266

        (Note: Page 266 of this book edited by the Philippine House of

        Representatives Congressional Library Bureau; official edited

        version not released)

3.     Batasang Pambansa (Interim) Official Directory,

         published by the Public Relations Service, 1979

4.     Official Directory: Regular Batasan, 1984 – 1986

         (Note: this directory was not officially published due

         to its being overtaken by the February 1986 People’s

         Power Revolution; compiled by the Editorial Board

         of the Batasang Pambansa composed of Deputy Secretary General

         Alfredo E. D. Gallardo, Jr., Public Relations Board Director Romeo

         T. Hernandez and Batasan Employee Lourdes Sevilla)

 B.    Websites (URL): Organic_Act_%281902%29

C.     Organization – Congressional Library Bureau,

         House of Representatives





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