Quantcast
Latest Stories

Cagayan anti-mining leader arrested over Facebook post

By

Image from google maps

BAYOMBONG, Philippines – The leader of an anti-mining group in Cagayan was arrested Thursday for posting an allegedly libelous account about a mining issue on her Facebook page in May last year.

Esperlita Garcia said she was arrested at her home in Calayan, Gonzaga, Cagayan, on the strength of a warrant issued by Judge Conrado Tabaco of the Regional Trial Court of Aparri.

“What really bothers me is how the prosecutors and the judge determined that I should be arrested when I know that the law that supposedly punishes online libel was passed only this year and was even (restrained) by the Supreme Court,” said Garcia, referring to Republic Act No. 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Act of 2012.

Garcia is president of the Gonzaga Alliance for Environmental Protection and Preservation, a people’s organization that has been leading the opposition to the magnetite sand extraction project operated by Chinese firms in Gonzaga. The companies were allowed to mine magnetite sand by the Cagayan provincial government.

The libel charge was filed by Gonzaga Mayor Carlito Pentecostes Jr. over an account Garcia posted on her Facebook page about an aborted antimining rally in the town on April 30, 2011.

She said she was merely giving a factual account of what had transpired during the rally where she quoted the mayor before demonstrators at St. Anthony Academy in Gonzaga.

The arrest warrant “shocked me because I had not received any notice about the case since I filed my counteraffidavit last year,” Garcia told the Philippine Daily Inquirer by phone.

The Inquirer tried to reach prosecutor Mila Acacio but her staff said she was not at her office in Aparri.

A Department of Justice official based in Tuguegarao City supported Garcia’s objection, saying there was no law yet against libelous statements made online.

“The reason the cybercrime law was passed was that the provisions of the Revised Penal Code do not embrace online libel. But even that law (RA 10175) is not yet in effect,” said the official.

Garcia, 62, said her arrest was an act of harassment, narrating how she was taken into custody by National Bureau of Investigation agents.

“I am a senior citizen but I was treated like a hardened criminal. They did not even give me a chance to bathe or change from my house clothes. They just dragged me into a car,” she said.

The agents brought Garcia to the NBI regional office in Tuguegarao City, about three hours from Gonzaga, where she was detained overnight Thursday.

On Friday, she was released after posting P10,000 bail.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Cagayan , Cybercrime , Esperlita Garcia , Facebook , Libel




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  4. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  5. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  9. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  10. Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  8. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  9. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • 16 suffer burns in Batangas sugar factory accident
  • Angat level drops; cloud seeding set
  • Indigenous aspiration in Bangsamoro
  • Banahaw continues to lure pilgrims, trekkers
  • Passion of Christ moves survivors
  • Sports

  • Tottenham beats Fulham 3-1 in Premier League
  • Martino defends Messi, takes blame for Barca fail
  • Vettel hoping for resurgence at Chinese GP
  • MLB pitcher donates $100,000 for Sewol ferry victims
  • Hamilton takes pole at Chinese Grand Prix
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Why ‘Noah’ can’t dock his ark at Philippine theaters
  • Acclaimed artist goes wild while on holiday
  • Believing in this mermaid
  • Missing Xian
  • Minnie Driver plays devastated mother to a stillborn child
  • Business

  • A workplace of new possibilities
  • Learning by doing: pilgrimage of faith
  • Fiat-Chrysler to produce iconic Jeep in China from 2015
  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Cesar Chavez movie sparks memories of Fil-Am labor leaders
  • Filipinos in US poised for success
  • Visas for priests and other faith leaders
  • DOH to continue tracking co-passengers of OFW infected with MERS virus
  • 5 Filipinos with MERS in UAE reported in stable condition
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement