Right of Reply: Senate Bill 2150 and House Bill 3306

(Another proposed law which is the subject if intense discussion is the Right of Reply Bill. Senate Bill 2150 and House Bill 3306 are currently being discussed, both in the Senate/House of Representatives and the community. Let’s hear your thoughts on this proposed law.)

Senate Bill No. 2150

AN ACT GRANTING THE RIGHT OF REPLY AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION THEREOF

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Right of Reply. -All persons natural or juridical who are accused directly or indirectly of committing or having committed or of intending to commit any crime or offense defined by law or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to the charges published or printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or to criticisms aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites, or through any electronic device.

SEC. 2. Where Reply Published. -The reply of the person so accused or criticized shall be published in the same space of the newspapers, magazine, newsletter or publication or aired over the same program on radio, television, website, or any electronic device concerned.

SEC. 3. When Published. -The reply shall be published or broadcast not later than three (3) days after the reply shall have been delivered to the editorial office of the publication concerned or to the station that carried the broadcast being replied to.

SEC. 4. Length of Reply. -The reply shall not be longer than the accusation or criticism as published or broadcast.

SEC. 5. Free of Charge. -The publication or broadcast of the reply shall be free of charge, payment or fees.

SEC. 6. Editing Reply. -The reply as such shall be published or broadcast except for libelous allegations.

SEC. 7. Penalties. -The editor-in-chief, the publisher or station manager, or owner of the broadcast medium who fails or refuses to publish or broadcast the reply as mandated in the preceding section shall be fined in an amount not exceeding Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) for the first offense; Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00)for the second offense; and Thirty thousand pesos (P30,0000.00) for the third offense.

Thereafter, for repeated failures or refusals to publish or broadcast the reply as mandated herein, a fine of Fifty thousand pesos (P50,000.00)shall be imposed. Moreover, if the offender is a public official, he shall be subject to administrative liability under existing Civil Service laws.

The court may also recommend that proper sanctions be imposed by any appropriate mass media organizations on erring editors-in-chief, publishers, station managers or owners of media concerned.

SEC. 8. Self-Regulation. – The block-timers who also fail to broadcast or publish the reply shall be subject to the Code of Ethics or to the realm of self-regulation of the network or station.

SEC. 9. Other Remedies. – The publication of the reply does not preclude recourse to other rights or remedies available to the party or parties concerned.

SEC. 10. Sunset Clause. -This Act shall lapse seven (7) years after its approval unless Congress shall provide otherwise.

SEC. 11. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days following its publication in three (3) newspapers of general circulation.

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Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City

FOURTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

House Bill No. 3306

AN ACT GRANTING THE RIGHT OF REPLY AND PROVIDING PENALTIES IN VIOLATION THEREOF

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Right of Reply – All persons natural or juridical who are accused directly or indirectly of committing, having committed, or of intending to commit any crime or offense defined by law; or are criticized by innuendo, suggestion or rumor for any lapse in behavior in public or private life shall have the right to reply to charges or criticisms published or printed in newspapers, magazines, newsletters or publications circulated commercially or for free, or aired or broadcast over radio, television, websites, or through any electronic device.

SEC. 2. Where Reply is Published or Broadcast-The reply of the person so accused or criticized shall be published or broadcast in the same space of the newspapers, magazine, newsletter or publication or aired over the same program on radio, television, website, or through any electronic device.

SEC. 3. When Reply is Published or Broadcast – The reply of the accused or criticized shall be published or broadcast not later than one day after the reply
shall have been delivered to the editorial office of the publication concerned or to the station that carried the broadcast being replied to.

SEC. 4. Obligation to Publish or Broadcast News Item – When an accused who was featured in news stories in radio, broadcast, and/or print media is eventually cleared of the crime or crimes alluded to him, it is the obligation of the same publication or broadcast network to correct its previous report by publishing or broadcasting the findings of the court or police authorities to restore honor and integrity to his person.

SEC. 5. Length of Reply – The reply shall not be longer than the accusation or criticism as published or broadcast.

SEC. 6. Free of Charge – The publication or broadcasting of the reply shall be free of charge, payment or fees.

SEC. 7. Penalties – The publisher and editor-in-chief of the publication or the owner and station manager of the broadcast medium who fails or refuses to publish or broadcast the reply or the correction of an erroneous news item as mandated in this Act shall be fined an amount not exceeding P10.000.00 for the first offense; P30.000 for the second offense; P50.000 and imprisonment for not more than 30 days for the third offense; P100,000 and imprisonment for not more than 30 days for the fourth offense; and P200.000, imprisonment for not more than 30 days and the closure and suspension of the franchise of the publication or broadcast media outlet or station for 30 days for the fifth and succeeding offenses.

SEC. 8. The publication of the reply or correction does not preclude recourse to the exercise of other legal rights and remedies available to the party or
parties concerned.

SEC. 9. Effectivity- This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of national circulation.

3 thoughts on “Right of Reply: Senate Bill 2150 and House Bill 3306

  1. RM Gutang

    The Right of Reply Bill granting accused person who alledgely committed a crime or any offenses as defined by law or are criticized by inuendo, suggestions or rumors for any misbehaviour in public or private life to have the right to air in the television/printed in the newspaper where his name appears.

    I found it as an excellent bill, since all of us either a criminal or not has the right to express our feelings, views and the right to defend our self from any accusation. This bill comes at the right time as media in this generation is much influential, persuading societies that once a person get accused he is a criminal already, forgetting this civil line “A person is innocent until he is proven guilty”.

    The Bill did not violate neither presss freedom nor human rights indeed strengthen the rights of individual to preserve their dignity and autonomy. This bill would enhance our DEMOCRACY i.e. the law is equal for all people in this country, not only the high class family can air themselves in the telivision, internet, or in print media. The poor can now excercise their right of self preservation.

    My dear media practioner the penalty imposed in case you fail or refuse to air the accused person is reasonable, it is the responsibility of the media to bring back the dignity of the people. We are both fighting for freedom, in fact the media exclusively fight for the right of individual i.e. the freedom of speech which is also essential for every accused person to explain themselves, to express their freedom and to be heard.

    I think this law is not unconstitutional since it doesn’t violate any one of our laws, to be specific I will quote this one “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of the press, isn’t it?” Why should we question the legality of this act if its definite purpose is to preserve the right of individual i.e. the right of expression and preservation of accused person’s dignity.

    Reply
  2. Jefrey John Arante

    Press is entitled as a “Watchdog of Society” and in that specified sense every Media Practitioner should perform their best not only by disseminating such vital informations but also in considering sensitive feelings of every subjet because he/she has a right of so-called “Right of Privacy.”
    The Senate bill 2150 and housebill 3306 or simply Right of Reply has a great idea to form a total press freedom but it didn’t consider some fatal ideas w/c I think very questionable.I know those ideas are obvious to all who is in much concerned to Personal Integrity.
    What encourage me to put in my belief is to Remind, not to Stand either on the negative or positive side of this law.
    “To our Law Makers decide broadmindedly because there’s a posibility that this law can change a path of good destiny”.

    Reply

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