What the TRO on Cybercrime Law Means To Me

Yesterday, October 9, 2012, the Supreme Court of the Philippines finally issued a Temporary Restraining Order on the highly controversial Cybercrime Law, which effectively halts its implementation for a period of 120 days.

And while some are quick to say that this is simply the Supreme Court proving its autonomy from the administration (which signed the bill into law) following the recent appointment of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno by President Noynoy Aquino, I'd say that this is no less than a manifestation of the power of social media and of our collective efforts as Filipinos.

TRO cybercrime law, cybercrime law

For me, this TRO is a symbol of victory for everyone who did something - both online and/or offline - to express their disapproval for the freedom-stifling law. This is victory for all 15 groups that filed their petition against RA 10175 at the high court, all the websites and blogs that covered the story and shared their views on why certain provisions of Cybercrime Law are so wrong, the thousands of Twitter users who made the hashtag #NoToCyberCrimeLaw a top trending topic on the site, all the student groups, social movements, and political parties that trooped to the Supreme Court for the Black Tuesday protests - despite the rains, the millions upon millions of Facebook users who changed their profile to a black box as a way to say 'no to cybercrime law', the online movements that made those banner ads that made us question the law and inspired us to move into action, and yes, perhaps even the hackers who provided an arguably louder voice to the protests - albeit their means may not be the most noble. The war is not yet over but at least, a battle has been won.

Last November 24, 2011, thousands of Pinoys on Facebook and Twitter helped Lola Aurelia find her estranged husband, Lolo Luis. Earlier this year, netizens created #RescuePH, an online hub that helped aid rescue and relief operations for the victims of the floods brought by heavy monsoon rains; Clearly, Pinoys hold a potent power online that's just waiting to be tapped via collective and unified action. I can only hope that we continue to use ito change people's lives for the better and to make good things happen for our country.