Artists’ group hits arrest of Cebu poet over FB post
MANILA, Philippines — The Concerned Artists of the Philippines called on Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella to focus on curbing the coronavirus disease in the city, rather than policing cyberspace, following the arrest of Maria Victoria Beltran, a poet and scriptwriter over a satirical post on Facebook.
“Satire is not a crime,” the group said in a statement on Sunday. “This targeting and arrest is a vicious attack on freedom of expression.”
Beltran was arrested inside a restaurant that she owns in Cebu City, a few hours after Labella threatened to put her behind bars for allegedly sowing lies.
Beltran posted on her Facebook account last week that over 9,000 people had been infected by COVID-19 in Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Luz. Beltran later took down the post.
—Jhesset O. Enano
The Inquirer Foundation supports our healthcare frontliners and is still accepting cash donations to be deposited at Banco de Oro (BDO) current account #007960018860 or donate through PayMaya using this link.