Did House Deputy Speaker Wes Gatchalian just blame Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon for the Palace veto of the proposed SIM Card Registration Act?
In a statement on Black Saturday, April 16, Gatchalian said he actually favored President Duterte's recent decision to thumb down the law, which had already hurdled both the House of Representatives and Senate.
"I agree with the decision of the President even if I am the principal author and a staunch advocate since the 16th congress," said Gatchalian, who represents Valenzuela City's 1st district in the House.
"Unfortunately, the last-minute insertion of Sen. Drilon to include the registration of social media providers is totally not in line with the essence of this bill. There is nothing in the bill specifying clear guidelines and how to register in such a broad environment (Internet)," he said.
"Though equally important, that provision should have been studied further and filed as a separate bill," Gatchalian noted.
As an effect of the veto, the House leader said that Filipinos "will continue to experience fraud, scams, threats, unwanted messages, cybercrimes, and terrorism without this law".
SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module (SIM). SIM cards are used to activate mobile phones and similar mobile devices.
According to Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar, President Duterte did not agree with the provision of the proposed SIM Card Registration Act that includes social media platforms as part of the requirements.
Andanar said the Chief Executive was constrained to disagree with the inclusion of social media in the measure, without providing proper guidelines and definitions thereto, as the same may give rise to a situation of dangerous state intrusion and surveillance threatening many constitutionally protected rights.
“The President similarly found that certain aspects of state intrusion, or the regulation thereof, have not been duly defined, discussed, or threshed out in the enrolled bill, with regard to social media registration,” he said, adding that the President pushed for ‘’more study’’ on the matter.