THAT The Department of Home Affairs and Local Government (DILG) Thursday defended the decision by the National Security Council (NSC) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to restrict websites “related” to the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines). -New People’s Army-National Democratic Front) affiliated groups and other front organizations.
Deputy Secretary of DILG and the National Task Force for Ending Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) Spokesman Jonathan Malaya said that the legal basis for “restricting” this website mainly comes from RA No. 11479 or better known as the “Anti-Terrorism Act 2020” especially in the first paragraph of Sec. 2, which reads: “Section 2. Policy Declaration – Stated as a State policy to protect life, liberty, and property from terrorism, to condemn terrorism as an act that is contrary to and harmful to the country’s national security and welfare. people, and make terrorism a crime against the Filipino people, against humanity, and against the Law of the Nations.”
Malaya said it was clear that “terrorism” was stated explicitly as a crime against not only the Filipino people but also humanity and the laws of the country.
In this connection, the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) has passed three resolutions declaring the CPP-NPA-NDF and its central committee members a “terrorist and terrorist organization” in accordance with par. 3 of Sec. 25 of the law.
“In light of policy declaration RA 11479, ATC resolution, and in order to implement it, restrict or block websites of declared terrorist organizations and their members in accordance with the law,” he said.
“There is no denying that the propaganda contained in terrorist websites [is] used to advance the illegal goals of the terrorists, in this case the CPP-NPA-NDF, which is to overthrow the government through violent means and destroy our democratic way of life. I would like to emphasize that inciting to commit terrorism is a crime in Article 9 RA 11479 which reads: Article 9. Incitement to Commit Terrorism. Any person who, without participating directly in the conduct of terrorism, will involve another person in the performance of any of the acts specified in this Section 4 by means of speech, proclamation, writing, emblem, pennants, or other representations which point to the same end ,” he added.
He said that those affected by these sanctions could make the argument that the same were “restrictions” on their free speech. However, this had to fail because freedom of speech was not absolute, as the Supreme Court held in Gonzales v. COMELEC, 137 Phil. 471, 494.
“Several types of speech can be regulated by the State under its police power, so as not to harm the same rights of other people or communities or society,” he said.
Malaya stressed that even the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights recognizes that “freedom of speech and expression has limitations, especially on national security and public order”, which is why websites related to the CCP-NPA-NDF are blocked.