Stop shooting: H.B. 4807 seeks to impose punishment on people for taking photos of other people
This is beyond ridiculous
Authored by Congressmen Rufus Rodriguez, Maximo Rodriguez, Jorge Almonte, Gwendolyn Garcia, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Lito Atienza and Leopoldo Bataoil, House Bill 4807 or The Protection against Personal Intrusion Act is now up to its third reading in plenary.
The full details are in a report by ABS-CBNNews.com, but the condensed version is this: aside from "legitimate law enforcement activities," snapping a photo that "captures a physical impression of a person" could be your ticket to jail.
We’re hoping that this is an exaggeration, but critics of the bill are already worried that "this proposed measure can become a tool that ’unwilling public figures’ will use to suppress press freedom."
According to the report:
Section 4 of the bill says any person whose personal privacy was intruded as defined may in a civil action against the person who committed the intrusion, obtain any appropriate relief, including compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive and declaratory relief.
The Photojournalists' Center of the Philippines (PCP), Inc. has spoken out against the bill, saying that it can be used to harass journalists because of several fuzzy points in the bill. "Any person" means all of us could be liable if we snap a photo of, say, Mayor Diego Pendejo doing something illegal-even if it’s in a public place.
PCP asks that "private property" be defined, asking, "Does ’personal privacy’ extend to public domain or public places in private spaces, for instance malls, shopping centers, events venues, a luxurious resort, among others?"
Adding to that, Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Zarate stated "HB 4807 will create a chilling effect on media and would especially affect citizen journalism. It would punish with civil suit taking photos,video or even audio recording anything claimed as a personal/ family matter even of public officials and personalities."
For more on this story, log on to ABS-CBNNews.com.