Liberal Party (LP) senatorial bet Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV talked to his first cousin about his opposition on some controversial provisions of the new law against cybercrime.
Aquino disclosed he is trying to convince his close relative, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, to remove the criminal liability of libel committed against the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
"I told him my position at one point," Aquino told reporters after filing his certificate of candidacy on its last day at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Manila on Friday morning.
The young Aquino disclosed telling the president about his thoughts on anti-cybercrime law, saying commission of libel should only have civil liability.
Aquino, who expressed his pride in sharing the same last name with the president, was optimistic that lawmakers in both houses of Congress will be able to repeal the new law as soon as possible.
But the young Aquino refused to reveal the reaction of President Aquino, who signed the bill ensuring cyberspace security into law in September.
"I just mentioned it to him way before calls and petitions were made about it came," the senatorial aspirant clarified.
Saying that he understands the social networking culture of the young generation, the 35-year old Aquino expressed optimism to influence the aging members of Senate about new expressions of speech.
But while senators wait for the resumption of Congress to discuss amendments on the controversial law on October 8, House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. said he would not prioritize discussions on the matter in the House of Representatives.
Instead, Belmonte asked online communities to give the new law a chance, emphasizing the need of the government to realize the legislation's strength and weaknesses first by its full implementation.
“Let’s give it (law) a chance. It’s really easy to change it if there
is a real necessity to do so. But without even waiting for the
implementing rules and regulations or IRR, it cannot be," Belmonte said.
"We have not seen its flaws and yet we want to change it right away,"
Belmonte told reporters in a press conference on Thursday night.
Meanwhile, reelectionist Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, who would have against the libel provision in Cybercrime Prevetntion Bill, defended the senators who admitted oversight that led to the passage of the law.
Cayetano, who was not around when the bi-cameral conference committee voted on the legislation's approval, promised to file a series of amendments not only on anti-cybercrime law but on existing Libel law.
Amid questions hurled against its early partial proclamation, the poll body on Friday named three more winning Senate candidates even before it completed its official count.