Media 230 window M230 “Ethics and Legal Standards” 6th Issue : Framework. 7th Issue: First Project )

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M230

“Ethics and Legal Standards”

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  1. RECORDED UNDER 6th ISSUE: FRAMEWORK
    plus
    7th ISSUE: FIRST PROJECT
    xxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxxxx xxxxxxxx
    Ethics and Legal Standards Exercise

    The Libertarian theory is one of the normative theories of the press. Born in 16th century Europe, libertarian theorists counter the authoritarian thoughts that undermine the individual’s freedom of his or her own life and his or her own thoughts. Liberalism means information flows freely and censorship or control is being relinquished by the government.

    The Libertarian theory also sees the capacity of the individual to judge good ideas from bad. The theory puts trust on people that their rational thoughts lead them to find out the crux of good and evil. Hence, applied in the press, media industry experience radical freedom to reveal the real things happening in society without any censorship. News agencies can do exposés against government officials and public figures that hold important positions in society.

    The product of a libertarian form of media is a mixed bag of unparalleled freedom and ethical excesses. Yes, the press and media has been given the “right” to present to the public any information that they deemed beneficial for the people. This ushered to a “more” transparent governance as government agencies are put under the public eye. In the Philippines for example, the response to this call for a libertarian kind of transparency was to put into law through House Bill 3237 or the Freedom of Information Bill. Through this bill, any individual can request and shall be granted information from any government agencies as long as it is available.

    On the flip side of this libertarian form of media that we have in this country is the tendency to abuse the freedom that we have. Misinformation and fake news have become rampant especially in the age of the internet and social media, birthing internet trolls that cause havoc in the social media space through intimidation, bullying and cyber harassment. Conversely, since the freedom to express opinions and disseminate information is not only given to media entities but every individual who has access to the internet, the cyberspace has become a battleground of ethical mishaps putting into perspective the pitfalls of having a libertarian form of media. To curtail this, the government has passed the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, covering not only crimes committed through the use of an electronic device but the unlawful acts of libel as defined in Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code committed through a computer system or any other similar means.

    The inclusion of Libel as a cybercrime has become vague as the Philippines adopted the public figure doctrine. The doctrine began by protecting fair comment on government officials so long as the issue attracted interest no matter how inane of unfair it is (Tan, 2014).

    But one begs to question, who defines what is public interest in the realm of the cyberspace? It is the virality of the post, the number of likes, the comments and the shares the post have gathered? And where does freedom of speech end and cyberbullying and libel begin?

    To answer the questions, I have drafted a fictitious circular memo coming from the PNP Chief reminding the PNP of the public figure doctrine and other cyber crimes which should be given attention by the agency.

    DISCLAIMER: This is a fictitious memorandum circular written to fulfill an academic requirement for a media ethics class. Any resemblance from official memorandum circular issued by government agencies is purely coincidental. This memorandum circular is drafted for academic purposes only and should not be taken as one enacted by any government agency.

    Republic of the Philippines
    NATIONAL POLICE COMMISSION
    NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE
    OFFICE OF THE CHIEF, PNP
    Camp BGen Rafael T Crame, Quezon City

    PNP MEMORANDUM CIRCULAR
    NO. 2019-11-14

    SUBJECT: PUBLIC FIGURE DOCTRINE AS ENACTED IN RA NO. 10175 OR THE CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT OF 2012 WITH REFERENCES TO THE LIBEL LAW IN ARTICLE 355 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE.

    REFERENCES:

    a. Republic Act (RA) No. 10175, entitled “An Act Defining Cybercrime, Providing for the Prevention, Investigation, Suppression and the Imposition of Penalties Therefor and for other Purposes

    b. Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, entitled Crimes Against Honor, Libel

    RATIONALE:

    The inclusion of Libel as a cybercrime has become vague as the Philippines adopted the public figure doctrine. The doctrine began by protecting fair comment on government officials so long as the issue attracted interest no matter how inane of unfair it is.

    As the primary law enforcers of this country, the PNP has been in the forefront of implementing the laws of the land. The PNP, having been in the eye of the public through news reports both in television, newspaper and the radio, and through our active involvement in the television show Ang Probinsyano, has been receiving positive and negative comments from legitimate news agencies, columnist, bloggers and social media influencers alike.

    Having this strong media mileage, the PNP has to maintain its good reputation and honor to maintain respect from the Filipino people that we serve. Hence, libelous and malicious comments made against our agency that malign our reputation and undermine our intent to honest service, should be reported and apprehended.

    Thus, this PNP Memorandum Circular aims to educate and empower our policemen and women to be vigilant in protecting the name of the agency by spotting, recording and reporting malicious imputations and opinions made against the PNP and its officials. Furthermore, this memorandum circular will also educate our men and women on the libel law and cybercrime law.

    THE LIBEL LAW OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE

    A. Article 352 Definition of Libel – is a public imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.

    B. Article 354 Requirement of Publicity – every defamatory imputation is presumed malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive of making it is shown, except in the following cases:

    A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral, or social duty; and
    A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

    C. Article 355. Libel by Means of Writing or Similar Means — A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prisión correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

    CYBER LIBEL ACCORDING TO RA No. 10175 CHAPTER 2 SECTION 4

    A. Libel. — The unlawful or prohibited acts of libel as defined in Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code, as amended, committed through a computer system or any other similar means which may be devised in the future.

    OTHER PUNISHABLE ACTS UNDER RA No. 10175 WHICH RELATES TO PUBLIC FIGURE DOCTRINE

    A. Illegal Access. – The access to the whole or any part of a computer system without right.

    B. Data Interference. — The intentional or reckless alteration, damaging, deletion or deterioration of computer data, electronic document, or electronic data message, without right, including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

    C. Cyber-squatting. – The acquisition of a domain name over the internet in bad faith to profit, mislead, destroy reputation, and deprive others from registering the same.

    D. Unsolicited Commercial Communications. — The transmission of commercial electronic communication with the use of computer system which seek to advertise, sell, or offer for sale products and services are prohibited.
    1. There is prior affirmative consent from the recipient; or
    2. The primary intent of the communication is for service and/or administrative announcements from the sender to its existing users, subscribers or customers; or
    3. The following conditions are present:
    i. The commercial electronic communication contains a simple, valid, and reliable way for the recipient to reject. receipt of further commercial electronic messages (opt-out) from the same source;
    ii. The commercial electronic communication does not purposely disguise the source of the electronic message; and
    iii. The commercial electronic communication does not purposely include misleading information in any part of the message in order to induce the recipients to read the message.

    PUBLIC FIGURE DOCTRINE
    A. The Public Figure Doctrine and its Subjects
    The public figure doctrine basically states that [a] limited intrusion into a person’s privacy [is] … permissible where that person is a public figure and the information sought to be elicited from him or to be published about him constitute matters of a public character … [as] [t]he interest sought to be protected by the right of privacy is the right to be free from ‘unwarranted publicity[ ] from the wrongful publicizing of the private affairs and activities of an individual which are outside the realm of legitimate public concern.
    GUIDELINES AND PROCEDURES:
    A. How to report a libel and cybercrime
    All PNP Personnel who have noticed libelous materials and other forms of cybercrime that involves the PNP shall:
    A. Take a photo, video or audio recording of the said materials in print, tv, radio and the internet.
    B. Within 5 working days, a report must be filed in the Office of the Cybercrime Division along with the photo, video or audio recording of the libelous material for verification.
    C. Once verified, the PNP personnel who reported shall draft a complaint letter against the person or organization who uploaded, printed and distributed said libelous material against the PNP.
    D. The PNP personnel who reported shall serve as the witness of the PNP should any legal proceedings takes place.
    REWARDS
    To ensure active participation of all PNP personnel, a reward system shall be put in place. Successful reports of cybercrime and libelous imputations made against PNP shall be rewarded generously through the following:
    A. Cash incentive of ten thousand pesos (10,000)
    SEPARABILITY CLAUSE:
    If, for any reason, any part or provision of this MC is declared invalid or unconstitutional, any part or provision not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect.
    EFFECTIVITY:
    This MC shall take effect after 15 days from the filing of a copy hereof at the University of the Philippines Law Center in consonance with Section 3 and 4of Chapter 2, Book VII of Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the “Revised Administrative Code of 1987,” as amended.

    JUAN P. DELA CRUZ
    Police Director General
    Chief, PNP

    References:

    https://www.communicationtheory.org/libertarian-theory/

    https://opinion.inquirer.net/72118/public-figure-the-unknown-libel-defense

    https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/20089-supreme-court-idol-the-cyberlibel-edition

    https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/2012/09/12/republic-act-no-10175/

    https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1930/12/08/act-no-3815-s-1930/

    http://ateneolawjournal.com/Media/uploads/7f6ae3f5ff2ee5396c8a97e39259ba8c.pdf

  2. TO: PNP STAFF, OFFICIALS AND PERSONELL

    SUBJECT: REMINDING PNP CHIEF OF THE PUBLIC FIGURE DOCTRINE IN LIBEL CASES

    DATE: NOVEMBER 15, 2019

    WHEREAS, According to the revised penal code under article 353, libel stands for public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Elements of libel are 1. imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another; 2. publication of the imputation; 3. identity of the person defamed; and, 4. existence of malice.

    WHEREAS, when a person who is in public offices or doing activities that concern the public interest will assume a public figure status, their right to privacy is limited. Examples are actors, athletes, public officials, government officials, beauty pageants finalists, spouse of the president, etc

    WHEREAS, incase of reporters who reported issues from the main source (qualified), the reporter is shielded from any liabilities whether the accusation for a public figure is true or not.

    WHEREAS, Any person has the right for free speech in a democratic country thus discussions about public figures should not be limited because of libel. Any person may not be punished even if vulgar and offensive as long as there is no actual malice (extreme recklessness or conscious lying). The person accused of libel shouldn’t have a motive for revenge.

    WHEREAS, in using the social responsibility theory, the free press shouldn’t undergo any censorship but they should accept any interference from the public or self-regulations from professional institutions. In this theory, a journalist is given freedom on what they will publish but held responsible for what they write and publish. Hence, in this case, media should be responsible for providing statements that are true, responsible and no actual malice.

    WHEREAS, In Tito Sotto’s pending case where he filed a libel suit for a Silent No More blogger, Edward Angelo “Cocoy” Dayao. He states that the blogger violated Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code in relation to Section 4 (c) of the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The blogger should be held responsible for the accusations he published.

    WHEREAS, in Medialdea vs. Ramon Tulfo cyber libel and libel complaint, Tulfo suggested that Medialdea issued a memo about PHISGOC foundation without the President’s knowledge. Holding a position in a public office, Medialdea’s privacy is extremely limited therefore he is under the scrutiny of the public and also influential figures like Tulfo. He is seeking 140 million charges for damages. Tulfo’s accusation was published in Manila times and also was posted online. Even though these cases are pending, we need to take note that these people involved are both public figures, thus the Public figure doctrine should be applied.

    This circulation takes effect immediately.

    For information, guidance and compliance.

  3. For pepperthekiller: Thank you for your post. Any form of licensing system of journalists (print and online) is a form of prior restraint and therefore unconstitutional. Thanks. -marichu
    xxx xxx xxx

    This memorandum is addressed to the staff of Chief Justice Peralta with regards to the growing number of cases related to journalists convicted of crime who are not financially able to bail.

    The media has always played a major role in shaping a nation’s growth. In fact, the media can either make or break leading institutions if they deem so. It is apparent that some media companies forgot or totally neglected the code of ethics made by the KBP. It would be bold to say that the media itself is in need of personal checking. For the longest time it seemed that the media would always situate itself on the losing end with rants that their rights as journalists are hindered by the government. I myself consider myself as a journalist but the freedom of speech that some demand, oppositely demands responsible information gathering.

    Journalists are not incorruptible. Hence, they are so much susceptible to committing unlawful acts since they are also capable of having so much power. Media companies are expected to reassert the status of their employees and disseminate the righteous conducts so that truthful information can be expected by the public. But before I go further with my recommendation, it would be necessary to reflect whether or not these media companies are indeed doing the right thing or is it egotistically so, that they couldn’t see the power struggle they’re playing? Aren’t we so myopic that one who is claiming that he or she is a journalist is universally truthful and righteous?

    A journalist is supposed to be expected by the public as bearers of truth. As truth bearers, the information that they herald should be handled with care like how doctors, engineers, lawyers delicately plan their scheme in order to serve the public interest. My recommendation, therefore, is that the KBP should offer an optional licensure exam to reporters, journalists, producers and project managers so that they will be able to carry on with their jobs with pride and dignity.

    This license would increase the credibility and credentials of the news programs they produce; knowing that people from the press have high standards in their journalistic materials. Due to the proliferation of fake news the public are now guaranteed that the people involved in the news making are of immense expertise and that the information is not merely “haka-haka lang”. Companies are now obliged to train and give scholarships to those who are excelling on the field. Reputable companies will now aspire for higher standards in their outputs since this licensure is like an FDA approved badge. Companies will be compelled to shell-out and further the goals of their interests by dilligently training their people.

    Being a licensed journalist also equates that of white-collar jobs who are highly regarded by the public. It strengthens their pride and dignity. Tataas ang kanilang dangal and they will be less bullying for they stand on equal ground to whoever politician. Together with this, they can also expect salary that equates that of the said professions. The public can now have an approximation of which news is more credible, the ones that aren’t licensed or the ones that are licensed? This would be a clear distinction between a real journalist and social media personalities who also disseminate news to their followers.
    For convicted licensed journalists, their salary, since being leveled to doctors and lawyers, will no longer be a problem. If in circumstances that the journalist has spent his or her money elsewhere, can’t bail, then rebuke his or her license ‘til such time that he or she is able to pay. In cases of severe crime, this would equate to a disbarment.

    However, for convicted journalists who are not licensed, then they must face the fury of the law. (Hahahaha I like saying fury) As the saying goes the law excuses no one.
    To summarize, as citizens of the Philippines we are expected to act responsibly not only for ourselves but for the betterment of the country. The public has clamored over losing faith in a biased media. The public also shouts injustice by a flawed system. But before we shout our issues, we must see ourselves if we are doing our part.

    Will a licensed journalist make for a better media presentation in the Philippines? It may or it may not. But personally I have high hopes. There is no loss in levelling up the media system of the country. Come to think of it, if prominent news makers go rogue then everyone will be misinformed. And this could be happening now. It is happening now. (Baka ma-libel ako kapag may binangit akong pangalan) Kumbaga hindi na mamaliitin ng mga professional ang mass comm. Level na tayo mga brad dahil sa lisensya na ‘yan!

    But kidding aside, the license is worth a try.

    For more info of the writer please visit: http://www.roguewolfcreations.com

  4. Media 230: 7th Issue (Fictional Circular Memorandum in compliance with 7th issue, Media 230)

                                                              OCA CIRCULAR NO. 06-2019
    

    TO: ALL JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ALL NATIONAL TRIAL COURTS

    SUBJECT: ADHERENCE TO COMPLYING WITH THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND RULE 114 OF THE 1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN REGARDS TO THE PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO POST BAIL.

    In lieu of the sudden change of government system reflected in the the Soviet Media Theory, the Office of the Court of Appeals is now adhering to the absolute power and control of the government leadership in regards to media in order to serve the working class best interest. With this change, we would like to create a stronger socialized society that is subjected to the government’s position and best practices when it comes to information disseminated, entertainment, education, and more.  All private ownership of the press is no longer valid. However, the government is open to citizens response and communications; but the government leadership still has the final word and decision. It is has been brought to our attention that there is an on going phenomenon of reporters who are currently imprisoned and have not been able to afford the cost to post bail. This circular memorandum addresses this issue. 
    

    For your information, guidance, and strict compliance.

    November 14, 2019

                                                                                     Myrthylle Karen Rey-Lenaming
                                                                                     Staff, SCJ Peralta
    
    
    
                                                                         A.M 11-14-19-SC
    

    ADHERENCE TO COMPLYING WITH THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND RULE 114 OF THE 1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN REGARDS TO THE PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO POST BAIL.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court recognises the on going phenomenon that reporters imprisoned for libel cases cannot afford to post bail. Investigation is on going as to civil action brought about by the offended party.

    Whereas, SECTION 1 Bail Defined. – Bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned upon his appearance before any court as required under the conditions hereinafter specified. Bail may be given in the form of corporate surety, property bond, cash deposit or recognisance.

    Whereas, Article 353 of the Revised Penal code states the Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonour, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead

    Whereas, ARTICLE 354. Requirement for Publicity. — Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases:

    A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and
    A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

    Whereas, ARTICLE 355. Libel by Means of Writing or Similar Means. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prison correctional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

    Whereas, SEC. 9 Amount of Bail; Guidelines. – The judge who issued the warrant or granted the application shall fix a reasonable amount of bail considering primarily, but not limited to the following guidelines:

    [a] Financial ability of the accused to give bail;
    [b] Nature and circumstances of the offense;
    [c] Penalty of the offense charged;
    [d] Character and reputation of the accused;
    [e] Age and health of the accused;
    [f] The weight of the evidence against the accused;
    [g] Probability of the accused appearing in trial;
    [h] Forfeiture of other bonds;
    [i] The fact that accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested;
    and
    [j] The pendency of other cases in which the accused is under bond.
    Excessive bail shall not be required.

    Whereas, SEC. 20. Increase or Reduction of Bail. – After the accused shall have been admitted to bail, the Court may, upon good cause shown, either increase or decrease the amount of the same. If increased, the accused may be committed to custody unless he gives bail in the increased amount thereof within a reasonable period. An accused held to answer a criminal charge but who is released without bail on the filing of a complaint or information, may, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings whenever a strong showing of guilt appears to the court, be required to give bail in the amount fixed, or in lieu thereof may be committed to custody.

    Whereas, The Supreme Court acknowledges that “under the Revised Penal Code, libel is punishable by imprisonment for from six months to six years. The Cybercrime Prevention Act, Republic Act 10175, also includes a provision to punish online libel, as defined by the RPC.

    Whereas, should the Supreme Court decide not to consider the guidelines of Sec. 9 and Sec. 20 of Rule 114 to the accused reporter, or should they decide to increase the punishable imprisonment, all courts will comply to the Supreme Courts final decision.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court now adheres only to the governments stand on the criminal libel cases that poses threat to any public official or figure. Though accused reporters are given the opportunity to comment at a given time.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court gives the right for courts to hold reporters in prison if they are not able to pay the set amount to post bail.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court gives the right for courts to acknowledge bail bondsman’s for reporters who cannot afford bail.

    Whereas, reporters under previous private owned press will all the more undergo a thorough investigation and scrutiny to the claims set against them by the offended party. If by any chance they are convicted to being guilty, the Supreme Court will give final sentence to be carried out.

    Whereas, therefore if reporters are not able to afford bail they are given the choice to plead guilty before the court in order to be released on time served or probation. The leaves them with a permanent record and if they violate any probationary rules they will be sent back to prison.

    These guidelines shall take effect November 15, 2019 and shall apply to all National Court Systems.

    Manila, Phiippines November 14, 2019.

                                                                                                  DIOSDADO PERALTA
                                                                                              CHIEF JUSTICE
    

    REFERENCES:
    https://www.communicationtheory.org/soviet-media-theory/
    http://www.chanrobles.com/admincircular12-94.htm#.XczWgjIzZ0s
    https://www.axios.com/ending-cash-bail-7cba4f21-71a8-4dda-a989-4b3f7f5c2f17.html
    https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/02/18/1894716/journalists-reiterate-call-decriminalize-libel
    https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1930/12/08/act-no-3815-s-1930/

  5. *RESENDING: Media 230: 7th Issue (Fictional Circular Memorandum in compliance with 7th issue, Media 230)

    TO: ALL JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ALL TRIAL COURTS

    SUBJECT: ADHERENCE TO COMPLYING WITH THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND RULE 114 OF THE 1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN REGARDS TO THE PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO POST BAIL.

    In lieu of the sudden change of government system reflected in the the Soviet Media Theory, the Office of the Court of Appeals is now adhering to the absolute power and control of the government leadership in regards to media in order to serve the working class best interest. With this change, we would like to create a stronger socialized society that is subjected to the government’s position and best practices when it comes to information disseminated, entertainment, education, and more.  All private ownership of the press is no longer valid. However, the government is open to citizens response and communications; but the government leadership still has the final word. 
    

    It is has been brought to our attention that there is an on going phenomenon of reporters who are currently imprisoned and have not been able to afford the cost to post bail. This circular memorandum addresses this issue.

    For your information, guidance, and strict compliance.
    November 14, 2019

                                                                                                Myrthylle Karen Rey-Lenaming
                                                                                                                        Staff, OCA
    

    ADHERENCE TO COMPLYING WITH THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND RULE 114 OF THE 1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN REGARDS TO THE PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO POST BAIL.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court recognizes the on going phenomenon that reporters imprisoned for libel cases cannot afford to post bail. Investigation is on going as to civil action brought about by the offended party.

    Whereas, SECTION 1 Bail Defined. – Bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned upon his appearance before any court as required under the conditions hereinafter specified. Bail may be given in the form of corporate surety, property bond, cash deposit or recognizance.

    Whereas, Article 353 of the Revised Penal code states the Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonour, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead

    Whereas, ARTICLE 354. Requirement for Publicity. — Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases:

    A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and
    A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

    Whereas, ARTICLE 355. Libel by Means of Writing or Similar Means. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prison correctional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

    Whereas, SEC. 9 Amount of Bail; Guidelines. – The judge who issued the warrant or granted the application shall fix a reasonable amount of bail considering primarily, but not limited to the following guidelines:

    [a] Financial ability of the accused to give bail;
    [b] Nature and circumstances of the offense;
    [c] Penalty of the offense charged;
    [d] Character and reputation of the accused;
    [e] Age and health of the accused;
    [f] The weight of the evidence against the accused;
    [g] Probability of the accused appearing in trial;
    [h] Forfeiture of other bonds;
    [i] The fact that accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested;
    and
    [j] The pendency of other cases in which the accused is under bond.
    Excessive bail shall not be required.

    Whereas, SEC. 20. Increase or Reduction of Bail. – After the accused shall have been admitted to bail, the Court may, upon good cause shown, either increase or decrease the amount of the same. If increased, the accused may be committed to custody unless he gives bail in the increased amount thereof within a reasonable period. An accused held to answer a criminal charge but who is released without bail on the filing of a complaint or information, may, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings whenever a strong showing of guilt appears to the court, be required to give bail in the amount fixed, or in lieu thereof may be committed to custody.

    Whereas, The Supreme Court acknowledges that “under the Revised Penal Code, libel is punishable by imprisonment for from six months to six years. The Cybercrime Prevention Act, Republic Act 10175, also includes a provision to punish online libel, as defined by the RPC.

    Whereas, should the Supreme Court decide not to consider the guidelines of Sec. 9 and Sec. 20 of Rule 114 to the accused reporter, or should they decide to increase the punishable imprisonment, all courts will comply to the Supreme Courts final decision.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court now adheres only to the governments stand on the criminal libel cases that poses threat to any public official or figure. Though accused reporters are given the opportunity to comment at a given time.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court gives the right for courts to hold reporters in prison if they are not able to pay the set amount to post bail.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court gives the right for courts to acknowledge bail bondsman’s for reporters who cannot afford bail.

    Whereas, reporters under previous private owned press will all the more undergo a thorough investigation to the claims set against them by the offended party. If by any chance they are convicted to being guilty, the Supreme Court will give final sentence to be carried out.

    Whereas, therefore if reporters are not able to afford bail they are given the choice to plead guilty before the court in order to be released on time served or probation. The leaves them with a permanent record and if they violate any probationary rules they will be sent back to prison.

    These guidelines shall take effect November 15, 2019 and shall apply to all National Court Systems.

    Manila, Phiippines November 14, 2019

    REFERENCES:
    https://www.communicationtheory.org/soviet-media-theory/
    http://www.chanrobles.com/admincircular12-94.htm#.XczWgjIzZ0s
    https://www.axios.com/ending-cash-bail-7cba4f21-71a8-4dda-a989-4b3f7f5c2f17.html
    https://www.philstar.com/headlines/2019/02/18/1894716/journalists-reiterate-call-decriminalize-libel
    https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1930/12/08/act-no-3815-s-1930/

  6. RECORDED UNDER
    1)6th Issue (framework)
    plus
    2) 7th Issue (FIRST PROJECT)
    xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxxxx xxxxxx
    Media 230: 7th Issue (Fictional Circular Memorandum)

    This is a department circular disseminated to prosecutors as a staff member of DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra

    DEPARTMENT CIRCULAR

    TO: ALL PROSECUTORS IN THE PROSECUTION STAFF SECTION
    SUBJECT : USING THE PUBLIC FIGURE DOCTRINE AS A GUIDE IN CHOOSING PENDING LIBEL CASES

    According to the social responsibility theory of the press, the media is expected to fulfill a role in the betterment of society. Its duties include eliminating social harms, educating people, criticizing the government, and exposing transgressions. Apart from these, this self-regulated estate is also expected to deliver information that is true, accurate, objective, and balanced. From these premises, we can gather that the media must uphold ethical practices and must not violate people’s rights.

    Considering this information, libel (defined under Art. 353 of the Revised Penal Code as “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical peron, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead) clearly violates people’s good reputation. Good reputation is considered as a property right and may be subject to moral damages and criminal penalties. However given the nature of this crime, it may be possible to use libel law as a form of harassment in society. This circular details the use of public doctrine as a guide in choosing libel suits that should be tried in court. Furthermore, this provides a more efficient checklist for the considerations needed in deciding on the aforementioned cases.

    One of the main considerations that need to be accounted for in choosing libel cases is the public figure doctrine. A public figure is defined as a person who gains prominence because of her/his accomplishments, fame, mode of living, profession, or character (Ayers Production Pty., Ltd. v. Capulong, 1988) or who has been part of an issue of public interest (Borjal v. Court of Appeals, 1999). Public officials, although not all prominent, are included in this category because of the nature of their professions.

    Considering the definition of a public figure, it can be said that their right to privacy is not absolute especially because of the public’s legitimate interest in their live. In Ayers Production Pty., Ltd. v. Capulong, it is stated that:

    A limited intrusion into a person’s privacy has long been regarded as permissible where that person is a public figure and the information sought to be elicited from him or to be published about him constitute of a public character. Succinctly put, the right of privacy cannot be invoked resist publication and dissemination of matters of public interest. The interest sought to be protected by the right of privacy is the right to be free from unwarranted publicity, from the wrongful publicizing of the private affairs and activities of an individual which are outside the realm of legitimate public concern.

    To be prosecuted for libel, the following elements must be present: defamation, malice, identification, and publication. Malice here refers to malice-in-law or actual malice. Consequently, the Public Figure Doctrine only allows the prosecution of subjects who have published “reports that are false with actual malice.” Actual malice covers the following: reckless disregard for the truth, knowledge of falsity, and facts to show motive for revenge.

    Since media is an institution that is obligated to protect and ensure true, accurate, objective, and balanced reportage, reports that are true and reports that are false but made as an honest mistake are not considered libelous. Moreover, a cursory look at the evidence must reveal actual malice. In other words, cases that do not contain evidence revealing false reports and actual malice does not constitute libel and should not be chosen for prosecution.

    For information, guidance, and compliance.

    MARIA DELA CRUZ
    Staff Member
    Department of Justice Secretary

  7. For Ma’am Lambino:

    Hi Ma’am, I’m not sure why my INTRODUCTION has a grey box for both of my post (I tried to repost again). But just to let you know the Circular I drafted is based on the Soviet Union Theory. Thank you.

  8. For Rosas Maria: Thank you for your post. This proposed FOI bill imposes penalties on media organizations. Strange. tnx. -marichu
    xxx xxx xxx
    Ethics And Legal Standards Exercise

    Media must work for the benefit of the society. It should convey clear information to the people which can be used to generate social change. This information should provide truthful and complete details about the activities of the people whom the people elected to govern the country. Also, the media should be free in order not to be classified as biased towards the Government but it should be privately- owned, taking into consideration ethical practices.
    Through the rise of social media platforms, journalists now have the power to inform the citizens anywhere and anytime. But as we apply the social responsibility system, journalists have the responsibility to carry their content in a rightful manner. They should use the information for the benefit of the citizens who they primary serve. But on the other hand, what is the responsibility of the Government in promoting a Social Responsibility system on Social Media Platforms?
    SOURCES:
    https://www.communicationtheory.org/social-responsibility-theory/
    https://journalistjan.wordpress.com/2010/10/04/social-responsibility-vs-libertarian/

    I made a draft of FREEDOM OF INFORMATION Bill on Social Media

    EXECUTIVE NO. 13
    This is a constitutional right to information and the state policies of full public disclosure and transparency through the use of social media platforms for the benefit of the Filipino netizens.
    SECTION 1. For the purpose of this Executive Order, the following terms shall mean:
    (a) OFFICIAL ACCOUNT shall mean any public figure page which has a verified logo from the social media platform.
    (b) FOLLOWERS shall refer to the people who follow the official account page.
    (c) ENGAGEMENT shall refer to the interaction and commentary within the official account page.

    SECTION 2. Government shall create an official account on social media platforms to be an avenue of the information to the public.
    SECTION 3. Government shall give access to Media Organizations to use social media platforms to implement public forums.
    SECTION 4. Government shall permit any Media organizations to attend forum and activities, and use live streaming to convey real time activities of any Government official.
    SECTION 5. Government shall give permission to any Media organizations to get questions and inquiries from social media account to be interceded to the public official which will be answered on real time through live streaming in a social media platform.
    SECTION 6. Government shall inform Media organizations for their new projects and concepts and open them to criticism.
    SECTION 7. Government shall have the authority to restrict any media organizations based on their ethical standards.
    SECTION 8. LIABILITY. Media Organizations who will fail to follow their code of conduct will be punished u der existing laws and regulations.

  9. Media 230: 7th Issue (Fictional Circular Memorandum)

    I am posting my general references because the hyperlinks are not allowing me to post the exact URLs.

    References:
    Inquirer
    Rappler
    Chan Robles Virtual Library
    Legal Services India (for the Social Responsibility Theory)
    The Lawphil Project
    Notes in Media 230 class

    Thank you.

  10. 7th issue

    Fictitious Circular Memorandum

    Topic: Circular to courts to address phenomenon of reporters who cannot afford bail

                                                                  Republic of the Philippines
                                                                        Supreme Court
                                                             Office of the Court Administrator
                                                                               Manila
    
                                                              OCA CIRCULAR NO. 59-2019
    

    TO : ALL JUDGES AND COURT PERSONNEL OF THE LOWER COURTS

    SUBJECT : GUIDELINES ON ADDRESSING PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CANNOT
    AFFORD BAIL

         With regard to the Social Responsibility Theory, it states the formulation of the code of conduct of the 
         press and some penalty for the violation of the code of conduct; for a purpose of improving the standards 
         of journalism.  As this may apply to reporters who committed such violation, there should be 
         considerations for those who cannot afford bail. The following guidelines shall be observed:
    
    
         To offer service to any government or public office provided he/she is capable to perform the job or duty. 
         The following requirements shall be met:
    
                             a. As it is described under section 19 “Recruitment and Selection of Employees” and 
                                       section 20 “Qualification Standards”, of ARTICLE VIII under the PRESIDENTIAL 
                                       DECREE No. 807 October 6, 1975.
    
                             b. The length of stay in the government office where the person charged performing the 
                                        job/duty shall be minimum of 6 months and maximum of 3 years.
    
                             c. No monthly salary shall be provided to the person charged offering the service to the 
                                        government.
    
                             d. No other jobs/work shall the person charged commit other than the duty he/she is 
                                        given in the public office.
    
    
    
            All judges and lower court personnel are hereby ENJOINED to strictly observe these guidelines. 
    
            All prior circulars, orders, and other issuance inconsistent with this Circular are hereby revoked. 
    
            This Circular shall take effect immediately.
    
    
             14  November 2019
    
  11. For myka07: Thank you for your post. This consists of “Whereases” without any directive; the main premises (such as seizure and confiscation of news media companies by the state) are violative of basic constitutional law principles. The advice therefore is to review your “Intro to Law on Mass Media” in the undergrad where basic constitutional law principles were discussed. Thanks. -marichu
    xxx xxx xxx
    TO: ALL JUDGES AND CLERKS OF ALL TRIAL COURTS

    SUBJECT: ADHERENCE TO COMPLYING WITH THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND RULE 114 OF THE 1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN REGARDS TO THE PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO POST BAIL. In lieu of the sudden change of government system reflected in the the Soviet Media Theory, the Office of the Court of Appeals is now adhering to the absolute power and control of the government leadership in regards to media in order to serve the working class best interest. With this change, we would like to create a stronger socialized society that is subjected to the government’s position and best practices when it comes to information disseminated, entertainment, education, and more. All private ownership of the press is no longer valid. However, the government is open to citizens response and communications; but the government leadership still has the final word. It is has been brought to our attention that there is an on going phenomenon of reporters who are currently imprisoned and have not been able to afford the cost to post bail. This circular memorandum addresses this issue. For your information, guidance, and strict compliance.

    OFFICIAL MEMORANDUM: ADHERENCE TO COMPLYING WITH THE REVISED PENAL CODE AND RULE 114 OF THE 1985 RULES ON CRIMINAL PROCEDURE IN REGARDS TO THE PHENOMENON OF REPORTERS WHO CAN’T AFFORD TO POST BAIL.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court recognizes the on going phenomenon that reporters imprisoned for libel cases cannot afford to post bail. Investigation is on going as to civil action brought about by the offended party.

    Whereas, SECTION 1 Bail Defined. – Bail is the security given for the release of a person in custody of the law, furnished by him or a bondsman, conditioned upon his appearance before any court as required under the conditions hereinafter specified. Bail may be given in the form of corporate surety, property bond, cash deposit or recognizance.

    Whereas, Article 353 of the Revised Penal code states the Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead

    Whereas, ARTICLE 354. Requirement for Publicity. — Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases:

    A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and
    A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

    Whereas, ARTICLE 355. Libel by Means of Writing or Similar Means. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any similar means, shall be punished by prisión correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

    Whereas, SEC. 9 Amount of Bail; Guidelines. – The judge who issued the warrant or granted the application shall fix a reasonable amount of bail considering primarily, but not limited to the following guidelines:

    [a] Financial ability of the accused to give bail;
    [b] Nature and circumstances of the offense;
    [c] Penalty of the offense charged;
    [d] Character and reputation of the accused;
    [e] Age and health of the accused;
    [f] The weight of the evidence against the accused;
    [g] Probability of the accused appearing in trial;
    [h] Forfeiture of other bonds;
    [i] The fact that accused was a fugitive from justice when arrested; and
    [j] The pendency of other cases in which the accused is under bond.
    Excessive bail shall not be required.

    Whereas, SEC. 20. Increase or Reduction of Bail. – After the accused shall have been admitted to bail, the Court may, upon good cause shown, either increase or decrease the amount of the same. If increased, the accused may be committed to custody unless he gives bail in the increased amount thereof within a reasonable period. An accused held to answer a criminal charge but who is released without bail on the filing of a complaint or information, may, at any subsequent stage of the proceedings whenever a strong showing of guilt appears to the court, be required to give bail in the amount fixed, or in lieu thereof may be committed to custody.

    Whereas, The Supreme Court acknowledges that “under the Revised Penal Code, libel is punishable by imprisonment for from six months to six years. The Cybercrime Prevention Act, Republic Act 10175, also includes a provision to punish online libel, as defined by the RPC.

    Whereas, should the Supreme Court decide not to consider the guidelines of Sec. 9 and Sec. 20 of Rule 114 to the accused reporter, or should they decide to increase the punishable imprisonment, all courts will comply to the Supreme Courts final decision.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court now adheres only to the governments stand on the criminal libel cases that poses threat to any public official or figure. Though accused reporters are given the opportunity to comment at a given time.

    Whereas, the Supreme Court gives the right for courts to hold reporters in prison if they are not able to pay the set amount to post bail.

    Wheareas, the Supreme Court gives the right for courts to acknowledge bail bondsman’s for reporters who cannot afford bail.

    Whereas, reporters under previous private owned press will all the more undergo a thorough investigation to the claims set against them by the offended party. If by any chance they are convicted to being guilty, the Supreme Court will give final sentence to be carried out.

    Whereas, therefore if reporters are not able to afford bail they are given the choice to plead guilty before the court in order to be released on time served or probation. The leaves them with a permanent record and if they violate any probationary rules they will be sent back to prison.

    These guidelines shall take effect November 15, 2019 and shall apply to all National Court Systems.

    Manila, Phiippines November 14, 2019

  12. For myka07: Thank you for your post. This consists of “Whereases” without any directive; more important: The main premises (such as seizure and confiscation of news media companies by the State) are violative of basic constitutional law principles. The advice is to review your “Intro to Law on Mass Media” in the undergrad where basic constitutional law principles were discussed. Thanks. -marichu

  13. For pepperthekiller: Thank you for your post. Any form of licensing system of journalists (print and online) is a form of prior restraint and therefore unconstitutional. Thanks. -marichu
    xxx xxx xxx

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