Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, chairman of the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee, on Thursday, June 23 welcomed the decision of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to block the websites perceived to be affiliated to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP)- New People’s Army (NPA) and their alleged front organizations.
‘’I would like congratulate the NTC for exercising its regulatory powers over organizations that are inimical to national security,’’ dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said.
Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson earlier said there is legal basis under the law for such action from the NTC if the said blocked websites had to do with financing the activities of the CPP-NPA. The Anti-Terrorism Council, he noted, had already designated them as terrorist organizations.
But Lacson, also a former PNP chief, said the “aggrieved party” has the right to challenge before the courts a government order blocking their websites.
“It is the basic right of an ‘aggrieved’ party to do so as it has something to do with the interpretation of the law,” according to Lacson who is the principal sponsor and one of the authors of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The blockade by the NTC of the websites of CPP/NPA and other organizations and groups was requested by National Security Adviser (NSA) Hermogenes Esperon.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III had said the NTC’s order was “too broad.”
“That might be too broad and we may be keeping our people especially our younger generation ignorant of other perspectives, other ways of looking at things, other ways of solving our problems,” Pimentel said.
“Allowing access to other thoughts (which are not in agreement with our own thoughts) is one necessary step in the development of critical and independent thinking. And of course we want the Filipino People to have the capability to be critical thinkers,” he told Senate reporters.
The full list that Esperon wants blocked are as follows: NDFP, NDF, Jose Maria Sison, Philippine Revolution Web Central, Bulatlat, Hiyaw, PRWC Newsroom, Revolutionary Council of Trade Unions, Compatriots – Revolutionary Organization of Overseas Filipino and their Families, Save our Schools Network, UMA Pilipinas, Rural Missionaries of the Philippines, Pamalakaya Pilipinas, AMIHAN National Federation of Peasant Women, BAYAN, Arkibong Bayan, International League of People Struggle, Pinoy Weekly, Counter Punch, International Action Center, Monthly.