Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Friday, July 31, 2009

New bill targets cyber sex den operators

By: Jester P. Manalastas - Journal online

IN a bid to stop the proliferation of cyber sex scandals, Buhay party-list Rep. Irwin Tieng has filed a measure seeking to penalize the operation of cyber sex dens.

Tieng’s House Bill 6626 bans a person or groups from maintaining or operating a den or any place like house, apartment and condominium for cyber sex activities or exhibition of private acts.

According to the solon, these dens employ minors who are forced to perform sexual acts for ogling foreigners who watch them through the internet for a substantial fee.

The bill, called “Anti-Cyber Sex Den Act,” proposes a penalty of 12 years imprisonment and a fine from P100,000 to P500,000 for violators.

“If minors are employed, operators face the penalty of life imprisonment while government officials face maximum penalties. Foreigners found violating the proposed law shall, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without further proceedings,” Tieng said.

He noted that with the increasing number of internet hubs and computer shops, cyber crimes also proliferate. Operators remained unpunished due to lack of proper laws that will deal with immoral and indecent acts, the solon said.

Tieng said the government needs to adopt a measure to penalize and eventually curb cyber sex crimes which threaten the morals of Filipinos, especially the youth. Buhay Representatives Rene Velarde and Ma. Carissa Coscolluela co-authored the bill.

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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

High Court rules on telcos firm

The Supreme Court (SC) has declared final its ruling that Smart Communications, Inc. is not exempt form the payment of franchise tax to local governments.

In a resolution written by Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura, the SC denied Smart’s motion to reconsider last year’s decision that dismissed its petition challenging the franchise tax of 75 percent of one per cent gross annual receipts imposed by the local government of Davao City.

Last year, the SC ruled that Smart unlike Globe Telecom, Inc., is not exempt from franchise tax that may be imposed by municipal, city, or provincial governments.

The decision affirmed the July 19, 2002 order of the Davao City regional trial court (RTC) which dismissed the petition filed by Smart with a ruling that “the ambiguity of the ‘in lieu of all taxes’ provision in RA No. 7295 (Smart’s legislative franchise) on whether it covers both national and local taxes must be resolved against the taxpayer.”

From an unfavorable RTC ruling, Smart elevated the issue before the SC.

Section 9 of RA 7295 provides that “…the grantee, its successors or assigns shall pay a franchise tax equivalent to three per cent of all gross receipts of the business… and the said percentage shall be in lieu of all taxes on this franchise or earnings thereof.”

Smart claimed that the “in lieu of all taxes” clause in Section 9 of its franchise exempts it from all taxes, both local and national, except the national franchise tax (now value added tax), income tax, and real property tax.

By. Rey G. Panaligan – Manila Bulletin

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