SC told: Cyber libel case vs Bello not about 'political persecution'

Tupas to SC: Cyber libel case vs Bello not about ‘political persecution’

/ 08:58 PM June 19, 2024

MANILA, Philippines — Former Davao City Chief Information Officer Jefrey Tupas told the Supreme Court (SC) that the cyber libel case filed against activist and former lawmaker Walden Bello is not a case of political persecution or suppression of dissent.

Tupas submitted his 10-page comment to Bello’s petition seeking to decriminalize libel and stop his prosecution for cyber libel.

“This case, no matter how the petitioner may imagine it to be, is not a case of political persecution. Neither is it a case where there was any suppression of dissent or attempt to do so,” Tupas said.


In his petition filed in December 2023, Bello asked the SC to declare unconstitutional Articles 353 to 355 of the Revised Penal Code as well as Section 4 ( c ) of Republic Act No. 10175 (Anti-Cybercrime Law) on Cyberlibel for being violative of Section 4, Article III of the Bill of Right and permanently stopped the Regional Trial Court of Davao City from proceeding with the trial of the two counts of cyberlibel case filed by Tupas.


READ: Walden Bello: Cyber libel case is not about me, it’s about press freedom

Tupas, the former city information officer of then-mayor and now Vice President Sara Duterte, filed a complaint for cyber libel against Bello for his 2022 Facebook post castigating Duterte for snubbing the debates and mentioning that Tupas was “snorting P1.5 million worth of drugs on November 6, 2021.”

“The petitioner has repeatedly painted himself to be the victim in this case. He draws the image of himself as a David to Sara Duterte’s Goliath in order to claim persecution,” Tupas said.

“This is, however, pure innuendo drawn merely from the fact that the respondent presently works for Vice President Sara Duterte, the petitioner’s political opponent during the campaign. But, the fact is that she has absolutely nothing to do with this case,” he added.

Tupas added that if ever there is or will be a case that would make the Supreme Court examine libel or cyber libel provision, “this case is certainly not it.”

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TAGS: cyber libel case, Jefry Tupas, Walden Bello

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