Defensor says Belmonte's cyberlibel raps vs. him is futile | Inquirer News

Defensor says Belmonte’s cyberlibel raps vs. him is futile

/ 06:11 PM March 03, 2022

Rep. Mike Defensor of Anakalusugan Party-list. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Anakalusugan party-list Representative Michael Defensor on Thursday dismissed Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte’s cyber libel complaint against him, saying it is a “cheap publicity gimmick.”

Belmonte lodged a cyber libel against him because of two social media posts that she claimed were “libelous, malicious, false, and fraudulent.”


The posts alleged that the incumbent mayor orchestrated a “Baklas army” that stripped Defensor’s campaign materials, and claims that a plunder case is set to be filed against Belmonte due to “overpriced” aid.


The congressman said that the complaint is “futile because Mayor Belmonte is an elected official, not a private individual. And she knows this.”

Defensor and Belmonte are both vying for the mayoralty post in the upcoming May 9 polls.

“Mayor Belmonte is obviously just trying to draw attention to herself. She is just after the extra publicity at my expense,” said Defensor.

“Ako sinampahan nya ng cyber libel complaint. Papano na lang kaya ang mga ordinaryong residente ng Quezon City na bumabatikos sa kanya sa social media?” he questioned.

(She filed a cyber liber complaint against me. What if an ordinary resident of Quezon City criticized her on social media?)

Defensor noted that public officials should not be “overly sensitive” when facing disapproval.


“The Supreme Court has time and [again] stressed that elected officials should not be onion-skinned or overly sensitive when it comes to public criticism,” he said.

“Like me, Mayor Belmonte is an elected official. We both cannot run away from harsh public scrutiny and disapproval,” he continued.

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The congressman urged Belmonte to quit her post if she cannot stand public condemnations.

TAGS: complaint, cyber libel, Joy Belmonte, Mike Defensor

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