President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III on Friday said he does not agree for the removal of the libel provision imposed in the Cybercrime Prevention Law, despite outrage and calls for amendment of the controversial statute.
"I do not agree that the provision on online libel should be removed. Whatever the format is, if it is libelous, then there should be some form of redress available to the victims," Aquino said in an interview in Pampanga on Friday, as reported by Interaksyon.
The president however said that if the penalty of 12 years of imprisonment on committing online libel is excessive, then the law can be amended.
Aquino also said that he chose to sign the law because the country needs a law for crimes like identity theft and computer fraud.
He however said his administration was "not for suppression of free speech."
"Now that the law is in effect, we have to enforce it. I can be impeached for dereliction of duty if I do not implement the law," he added.