Legarda on People Power Anniversary: We Must Always Fight for Our Rights

February 25, 2013

Twenty-seven years after the historic People Power Revolution that brought back democracy in the Philippines, Senator Loren Legarda engaged Filipinos to continue to fight for human rights as they always have.

“In 1986, millions of Filipinos joined a nonviolent revolution that awed even the world. We were able to regain our democracy through peaceful means. Today, we must continue to fight for our rights without trampling on the rights of others. We must support ways by which we can protect and uphold our democracy,” she said.

“We should promote the proliferation of a free market of ideas, thus we must protect our freedom of expression. We should encourage constructive criticism especially in public service so that leaders can effectively carry out their mandate, thus we must protect freedom of speech. We should ensure honesty, transparency and accountability of government officials, thus we must have the freedom of information,” Legarda stressed.

Legarda, co-sponsor of the proposed People’s Ownership of Government Information (POGI) Act of 2012, explained that it is important for all government agencies to disclose information on public interest transactions, documents or records to erase doubts on the capability of the government to do its mandate of serving the best interests of the people.

“We must supply our people with information about the leaders they elected into office and of the businesses of government offices. This will certainly elevate the citizens’ trust and confidence in the government,” she said.

The Senator also stressed the value of freedom of speech and expression, which is why she proposed measures that would decriminalize libel and repeal the libel provisions of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

“The reasonableness of adopting a policy to prevent cyberspace pollutants from spoiling the minds of our people must not be done at the expense of our valued right to free speech. We must eliminate a chilling effect that may impose undue boundaries on our people’s exercise of freedom of expression,” said Legarda.**