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SC petition wants SIM registration law declared unconstitutional


Petitioners want the SIM Registration Act declared unconstitutional.
File photo: SIM card

TRO vs SIM registration

According to a report by CNN Philippines, the petition was filed before the Supreme Court.

The petitioners, which include the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, want a temporary restraining order to stop the law’s implementation. They also urge the SC to order telcos to cease and desist from using, storing, transferring, and processing data stored in the SIM register and destroy those they already collected.

For the petitioners, the SIM registration law violates freedom of speech.

It conditions the exercise of speech through the use of SIM cards to mandatory disclosure of a specific combination of information that is supposed to tie every SIM card to a specific person, they said.

A GMA News Online report also quoted the petitioners saying that the law violates the right against unreasonable search and seizure and the right to privacy of communication.

The Petitioners have a reasonable expectation of privacy over their SIM cards, and they have a right to control who gets to have, to keep, and to pass on, the information it contains, they pointed out.

As such, the law’s compelled disclosure, which is not sanctioned through a search warrant, and the subsequent exempted access of law enforcement, constitutes an unreasonable search under the Constitution, they added.

They also argued that the SIM registration law violates due process by intruding into the life, liberty, and property of the petitioners and that it violates free access to courts.

As of April 16, government data showed that around 42 percent or 71 million SIMs have been registered.

Of this, more than 35 million were from Smart, over 31 million from Globe, and over 5 million from DITO Telecommunity.

Subscribers have until April 26 to comply with the registration requirement.

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