Frank Cimatu hinatulang guilty sa cyber libel

Frank Cimatu hinatulang guilty sa cyber libel

December 13, 2022 @ 3:48 PM 2 months ago


MANILA, Philippines- Hinatulan ng Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) ang Baguio-based journalist na si Frank Cimatu ng hanggang limang taong pagkakakulong imprisonment kaugnay ng kanyang Facebook post ukol kay dating Agriculture secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol.

Sa 19-page decision, hinatulan ng QC RTC Branch 93 si Cimatu na guilty beyond reasonable doubt sa cyber libel sa ilalim ng Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Sinintensyahan siya ng minimum imprisonment na anim na buwan at isang araw at maximum imprisonment na limang taon, limang buwan at 11 araw.

Pinagbabayad din si Cimatu ng danyos kay Piñol na P300,000.

Sinabi ni Cimatu na kakausapin niya ang kanyang mga abogado ukol sa kanyang appeal. Inihayag niya ang pag-asa na matatapos ang appeal bago ang holidays.

“I was surprised with the decision. I will be talking to my lawyers on how to make our appeal. As a journalist, I stand for the decriminalization of cyber libel,” giit niya.

Sa kasalukuyan ay wala pang pahayag si Piñol ukol dito.

Nag-ugat ang kaso sa post ni Cimatu sa Facebook.

Sinabi ni Cimatu na pribado ang post dahil nilimitahan nya lamang ito para sa kanyang Facebook friends. Subalit, ayon sa korte, ito ay “immaterial” dahil  ginawa ang post sa “public” setting.

Base pa sa korte, hindi rin napatunayan ni Cimatu na isinulat ang post “in good faith”.

Anito pa, nabasa ni Piñol ang post at nagkomento sa thread upang magpaliwanag.

“Despite this, Cimatu did not relent in his actions, but went on to continue defaming the private complainant. This is a clear indication of the intention of accused to malign Piñol, no matter the cost, and is clearly proof of malice,” giit ng korte.

Samantala, inihayag naman ng National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) ang suporta sa plano ni Cimatu na maghain ng appeal.

“NUJP supports Cimatu’s plan to appeal the court’s decision, asserting it sees no malice in Cimatu’s Facebook post on September 24, 2017,” pahayag nito ngayong Martes.

“With due respect to the local court’s decision, NUJP maintains that the right to free expression and press freedom is paramount especially when exercised in relation to public officials. A powerful politician such as Piñol crying foul over a Facebook post of a community journalist is ironic in a supposed democratic country. Under the comments on the same post, Piñol himself issued threats and derogatory remarks against Cimatu. Online trolls flooded Cimatu’s Facebook account with vitriol,” dagdag ng NUJP. RNT/SA