Filipina Wanderer defines Libel.
¹A libel is a malicious, false statement in written media, a broadcast, or otherwise published words.
ELEMENTS OF LIBEL
1. Defamatory imputation – that lowers the esteem, honor or respect that a person is regarded
2. Publicity – must be seen or known by a third person, other than whom the libelous statement is addressed
3. Identification – the person libeled must be identified
4. Malice – if there is no good intention or justified motive for the defamatory statement. Reckless disregard for the truth.
If we remember the libel case of Dra. Vicky Belo versus Atty. Argee Guevarra, the first Philippine Facebook libel case wherein the lawyer posted “slanderous” comments on his Facebook page in 2009. She didn’t win the case. Now any slanderous comments can be a ground for libel.
With this new rule going on, a smart person can sue us for libel just by commenting on facebook or any social media. We can be sued for our opinions on topics that we do not like. We may not be able to express our feelings since we are prohibited by law. However, this also gives us the right to protect ourselves for those people who judges us. If our reputation and the public acceptance is our priority, this gives us an edge for only receiving good feedback. This only lead us to “be careful on what you post and what you like”.
“When you put something on your Facebook, you’re publishing it at the very least to your friends. But in libel law, even if you send [a libelous statement] to 2 or 3 people, that’s libel. That’s enough to meet the standard for publication in libel”
“The same goes for anyone else on the Facebook who ‘cut and pasted’ a libelous statement and republished it. You yourself commit libel,”
²”In libel cases, the question is not what the writer of an alleged libel means, but what the words used by him mean.”
- One, take it positively. If you are an optimist, you take this words, change what we have to change and become a better person.
- Two, cry like a baby. We may still move on but we don’t make an initiative to change. We still live inside the criticism. We breath it as we are part of it.
- And lastly, we sue for libel or we attack the person. In the Philippines, we don’t usually sue people. I may be wrong. But whenever a person commits a crime against us, we either take it lightly or we are too afraid or too busy to file a suit. Probably in this modern times, our government wants us to be active to participate in change. Maybe or maybe not.
ARTICLE 3, SECTION 4 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution
³”No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances.”
♦Tagalog/Filipino translation: “Hindi dapat magpatibay ng batas na nagbabawas sa kalayaan sa pananalita, pagpapahayag, o pamamahayag, o sa karapatan ng mga taong-bayan na mapayapang makapag-tipon at magpetisyon sa pamahalaan upang ilahad ang kanilang mga karaingan”.
Prohibiting someone to express his thoughts on certain issues is taking the right of a person for freedom of speech. Blogging is one medium where we the citizens of this country can freely express our voices. Many bloggers post their rantings about their political or religious views, some create articles about their love for art, fashion or travel, there are others who get paid to make reviews about restaurants, hotels or events. Blogging is a freedom of expression. It is like keeping a diary or a journal. You vent out your emotions so you can be free and we can act normal again.
You may also want to check our post about REPUBLIC ACT 10175 AKA CYBERCRIME PREVENTION ACT OF 2012
***FYI: This post is created to make the readers be informed with the current issues in our country. This is a collaboration of thoughts from various sources. Citations are included. Filipina Wanderer is not a lawyer and is not practicing law in any forms.
- Define Libel (filipinawanderer.wordpress.com)
- A blow against free speech (opinion.inquirer.net)
- Lawmakers defend libel provision in cyber law (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- The Stupid Manila Cybercrime law (pochp.wordpress.com)