At a Glance
- The lower chamber unanimously approves the proposed “Expanded Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act”, which seeks to define electronic or online violence against women and their children.
- The bill amends Republic Act (RA) No. 9262, also known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004″.
The House of Representatives has unanimously approved House Bill (HB) No.8009, which seeks to define electronic or online violence against women and their children.
A total of 272 House members voted in favor of the measure’s third and final reading passage during plenary session Monday afternoon, May 22.
Deputy Speaker and Antipolo City 1st district Rep. Roberto Puno, the presiding officer, announced the passage of the bill, titled the “Expanded Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act”, shortly after the conduct of nominal voting.
“This proposed law is our answer to rising cases of internet-enabled violence and abuse against women and children, who we should protect. I hope that the bill, when enacted, would stop these acts of wrongdoing,” Speaker Martin Romualdez said.
Developments in information and communications technology (ICT), he said, have given rise to certain crimes that are not sufficiently covered by existing laws. “We have to update and strengthen our laws to shield our people, especially our women and children, from criminally-minded individuals,” he added.
Aside from defining the crime of electronic violence against women and children, HB No. 8009 also provides protective measures and penalties for violations.
If enacted, it will amend Republic Act (RA) No. 9262, also known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.”
The measure is a consolidation of four related measures authored by Reps. Marjorie Ann Teodoro, Arlene Brosas, France Castro, Raoul Danniel Manuel, and Gus Tambunting. It was endorsed by the committee on women and gender equality chaired by Rep. Geraldine Roman.
The measure defines electronic or ICT-related violence as “any act or omission involving the use or exploitation of data or any form of ICT which causes or is likely to cause mental, emotional, or psychological distress or suffering to the woman and/or her children”.
It would include “recording, reproduction, distribution, use, sharing or uploading of any photograph, video, or other forms of electronic or artistic presentation showing or depicting in any form of manner the genitalia of a woman or those of her children’s genitalia, pubic area, buttocks, breasts, excretory body part or function, nudity, scenes with sexual content or portrayal of sexual conduct such as sexual intercourse, masturbation, kissing, caressing, hugging, and petting”.
The following also fall under the definition of electronic violence against women and their children:
1. Harassing, intimidating, coercing, threatening, or vilifying the woman and/or her children through text messaging or other cyber, electronic, or multi-media technology.
2. Stalking, including the hacking of personal accounts on social networking sites and the use of location data from electronic devices.
3. Fabrication of fake information or news through text messaging or other cyber, electronic, or multi-media technology.
4. Creation of fake social media accounts using an alias or a different individual’s personal information resulting in harm to the woman and/or her children’s reputation.
Protection measures were expanded to include the immediate blocking, blacklisting, removal, or shutdown of any upload, program, or application that causes or tends to cause violence against a woman and/or her children.
Failure of an internet service provider to cooperate with law enforcement agencies shall constitute the crime of obstruction of justice. — Ellson Quismorio
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