NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION
Bohol’s top social media influencer is at the receiving end of 21 counts of cyber libel filed by the province’s long-running politician before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office last Friday.
Rep. Edgar Chatto personally filed the case against Emmanuel “Willy” Ramasola, a Boholano businessman based in Makati City.
Chatto in a statement said the move is “not meant to silence critics,” but “for the community and not just himself to learn about rights and the limits of freedom of expression in the context of technology and social media use.”
The case was filed in violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The first district congressman revealed this development to address persistent questions if he plans to respond to consistent malicious attacks on social media that are thrown against him, his family and those closely connected to him.
Reacting to the filing of charges, Ramasola said “This did not come unexpected” citing that he knew his risk after declaring a “fearless crusade against corruption.”
“This crusade is a continuing quest for change that we long for,” Ramasola said in a statement issued to the Chronicle.
BULLYING CAN’T BE TOLERATED
Rep. Chatto during his weekly livestream program “Kita ug Ang Kongresista,” said what Ramasola was doing “cannot be tolerated – bullying, derogatory and libelous statements.”
Chatto, who has been in public service for decades, said that he is used to valid criticisms in governance issues but finds fake, derogatory and libelous statements not acceptable.
“It is important to listen to criticism, whether positive or negative, as public officials do not have a monopoly of good ideas,” he concluded while emphasizing balance in the exercise of freedom of expression and respect for human rights.
Atty. Popot Marapao, the solon’s lead counsel, escorted Chatto during the filming of the cyber libel charges at the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.
FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE
Ramsola said his fight for good governance will continue while citing that his “prime motive for a better Bohol has just begun”.
He said he had not yet received a copy of the complaint filed against him until yesterday, thus he refrained from commenting on the various issues raised by Rep. Chatto in his complaint.