QUESTION: Sir John, I am a mediaman who covers Malacanang. If ten is highest, how do you rate P-Noy in terms of his adherence to democracy? ANSWER: His administration made a STATEMENT that they have no "political" prisoner, that is good. His administration has made an ACTION to give amnesty to those who were politically persecuted during the Arroyo Strong Republic, that is better. I look forward for his administration to finally put an end to political persecution in the future by ABOLISHING the 1930 Sedition Law. For now I give him a rate of 7.
The Philippines' sedition law was originally drafted in 1930. Former President Marcos amended it many times by executive orders. In 1987, it was restored to its original form. In the Revised Penal Code, the Sedition Law defines sedition:
Art. 139. Sedition; How committed. - The crime of sedition is committed by persons who rise publicly and tumultuously in order to attain by force, intimidation, or by other means outside of legal methods, any of the following objects:
1. To prevent the promulgation or execution of any law or the holding of any popular election;
2. To prevent the National Government, or any provincial or municipal government or any public officer thereof from freely exercising its or his functions, or prevent the execution of any administrative order;
3. To inflict any act of hate or revenge upon the person or property of any public officer or employee;
4. To commit, for any political or social end, any act of hate or revenge against private persons or any social class; and
5. To despoil, for any political or social end, any person, municipality or province, or the National Government (or the Government of the United States), of all its property or any part thereof.
"Inciting sedition" is defined as follows:
Art. 142. Inciting to sedition. - The penalty of prision correccional in its maximum period and a fine not exceeding 2,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who, without taking any direct part in the crime of sedition, should incite others to the accomplishment of any of the acts which constitute sedition, by means of speeches, proclamations, writings, emblems, cartoons, banners, or other representations tending to the same end, or upon any person or persons who shall utter seditious words or speeches, write, publish, or circulate scurrilous libels against the Government (of the United States or the Government of the Commonwealth) of the Philippines, or any of the duly constituted authorities thereof, or which tend to disturb or obstruct any lawful officer in executing the functions of his office, or which tend to instigate others to cabal and meet together for unlawful purposes, or which suggest or incite rebellious conspiracies or riots, or which lead or tend to stir up the people against the lawful authorities or to disturb the peace of the community, the safety and order of the Government, or who shall knowingly conceal such evil practices.