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Highlights

Check out Senate Bill 2150 and House Bill 3306




These two new bill (The Right to Reply Bill) has recently drawn some attention as it recognizes the rights of persons to reply to media reports or commentaries that are erroneous, unfair or biased against them and injurious to their reputation.

The bill which has been filed as early as April 2008 states that:

… all persons who are accused directly or indirectly of any crime or offense or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to the charges published in newspapers and other publications or to criticisms aired over radio, television, website or through any electrical device.

In essence, this bill could also include blogs (websites). That means if you accuse an individual or entity in your blog, you will be required by this bill to publish their reply in the same space where you first published your entry. It’s not clear if the “space” means the “same entry/webpage” or just the “same website/blog”.

Likewise, if the accused leaves a comment on the blog entry, the blogger will be required to approve the comment (regardless of the tone and language of the content?). At least that’s how I read it.

The Senate version was authored by Senators Aquilino Pimente, Jr., Ramon Revilla, Jr., and Chiz Escudero. The House version was filed by Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella.

Fines and penalties prescribed are as follows (for the House Bill):

– Php10,000 for the 1st offense
– Php30,000 for the 2nd offense
– Php50,000 and imprisonment for not more than 30 days for the 3rd offense
– Php100,000 and imprisonment for not more than 30 days for the 4th offense

Then, a Php200,000 fine and imprisonment for not more than 30 days and the closure/suspension of the franchise of the publication or broadcast media outlet or station for 30 days for the 5th and succeeding offenses.

If the bill passes and becomes a law, I’m not sure how they will handle this. What if Malu Fernandez wrote something nasty about the 8 million OFWs worldwide — should all 8 million be given space on the publication to reply? The printing cost alone will bankrupt the publication.



Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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10 Responses

  1. Jan Alvin says:

    Hahaahaha, kawawa naman si Malu pag nangyari yun. Yung “indirectly of any crime or offense or are CRITICIZED by innuendo” I think everyone is entitled to their own criticism. And no need na siguro yun, OA naman na ata yun.

    Teka, panu yung news sites ng mga leading newspapers sa pinas? Edi hindi sila obligated na i-publish yung mga comments kasi hindi pwedeng mag-comment sa site nila, diba?

  2. Eizan says:

    Hehe, I still freshly remember Malu’s article.
    She wants to slash her wrist, eh? LOL…

  3. iceman9 says:

    this is outrageously funny! indeed!

  4. ernesto says:

    What’s happening in the RP

  5. Lyle, RN says:

    I think the right to reply is just fair. There are two sides to every story.

    But a possible problem with this is the scenario pointed out by Abe.

  6. herbert says:

    The Right to Reply bill, House version was filed in the Lower House as early as 2003. It was HB 5774.

  7. jhay says:

    Regardless whether this bill becomes a law or not, people would still reply or respond to things they read, see, hear and listen to especially if it’s about their self.

    I may be wrong, but it gives me the impression that the showbiz industry (esp gossip) would greatly benefit from this. More airtime for Kristy Fermin? LOL

  8. retz says:

    those penalties looks pretty darn serious. awts. it harts u know it harts.

    @jhay – yes more airtime for her, hmm and i guess more chikas to post for me. lol

  9. Ray says:

    This is &*(-ing retarded and will make our country an even bigger laughing stock in the world than it already is. We have so many huge problems, there are kids on the street who can’t even eat once a day and this is what our monkeys in the legislature are wasting their time on? Of course this bill has self-serving idiot written all over it, it’s meant purely to benefit the retards who run our government who maybe don’t want news media to report on their latest thievery. Really, we should just put them all in a boat and sink it in the Pacific Ocean.

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