The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) said that they plan to push for laws against trolls and help regulate social media during the campaign period.
In an interview with the ANC Rundown last Monday morning, COMELEC Commissioner George Garcia cited the “absence of a law regulating social media” in the country, which makes the commission “powerless” to monitor such problems.
That is the reason why, in the next Congress, the commission will “really push for a social media regulation at least as far as election expenditure and campaign is concerned.”
Garcia added that they will also urge Congress to create a law against online trolls, especially during the campaign period.
“It’s very difficult really to prove and prosecute and enforce [the Cyber Libel Prevention Act] but at the same time, we will push Congress to enact a law specifically for the campaign, specifically the use of trolls during the campaign period,” the COMELEC chair added.
“Easily, anybody who will be victimized by these trolls can file cases in relation to cyber libel but of course, it is very difficult to prove and at the same time it’s very difficult to pin point the liability of the individuals in this case,” Garcia added.
Such problems are the reason why the SIM Card Registration bill almost became law until it was vetoed by President Duterte due to the lack of proper guidelines and definitions regarding the inclusion of social media in the regulation.
The president also wants to make sure that the new law will be consistent with the constitutional provisions that ensure the safety of the people’s privacy and free speech.