Unblock That PCIJ Blog - A Writing Campaign
This is the first time that a blog has been ordered removed by a judge without realizing that a temporary restraining order (TRO) has no practical effect on a blog. The respondent blogger may be ordered to remove the blog from its site but that would still not stop the entire Philippines from accessing the blocked blog through the cached pages of google or yahoo. Proof positive is the link above. Click on it and voila! So, what is the use?
By the way, I am linking the blog on the basis of my constitutional right to a free and unfettered access to public information. I am also commenting on the resolution because I am neither a party or lawyer to the case nor have I submitted to the jurisdiction of the good judge. Therefore, any notion of sub judice as far as I or the entire blogging community is concerned is bunk.
The judge violated a cardinal principle in the issuance of a TRO. The article complained of has already been published, in this case, posted. It was a done deed. That ought to have made the request for the issuance of a TRO moot and academic. You can no longer restrain an act that has already been performed. And even assuming that Mrs. Tiongco can make a compelling case of her privacy, the judge, if he knows how blogs work, could have ordered that particular paragraph alluding to Mr. Tiongco's marital status removed, at most and not the wholesale censorship of the blog. Mrs. Tiongco’s request and the order of the judge is therefore, invalid and assuming it is valid, it is downright impractical.
After all, how does one restrain a blog after it is published? By analogy, once a newspaper article has been published, the aggrieved party or the judge cannot conceivably and feasibly order the retrieval of each and every copy of the newspaper. In any event, Mrs. Tiongco can always ask for damages. More so with the blogs where transmission of information is one-click away. Que barbaridad!
Bloggers, since we are not parties to the case, let us show the futility of restraining a blog. To the best of my knowledge, since there is no forwarding email address to the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, and if you believe that a great injustice has just been committed, let us show our disapproval by writing to the public information office of the Supreme Court with email address at firstname.lastname@example.org, the highest court of the land, that we, Filipino bloggers, invoking our sovereign right to free speech, express in no uncertain terms our indignation on the Temporary Restraining Order issued against the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism. Write forcefully but do it respectfully!
Bloggers, UNITE! Unblock that PCIJ blog! Write to the Supreme Court to register your protest!