Colonial and repressive

THE administration of Benigno Aquino III must review Philippine libel law, decriminalize libel, and compensate a Filipino journalist for the time he was imprisoned for libel. These are the recommendations of the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC), which has expressed the view that the country’s libel law is at odds with Section 2 Article XIX of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the Philippines ratified in 1986.

The ICCPR is part of the International Bill of Rights. Section 2 of Article XIX states that “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.”

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