This is a first!
Upon reading today’s paper, I immediately noticed the article on the front page detailing how Dra. Vicky Belo is suing activitst- lawyer Argee Gueverra for allegedly maligning her on his Facebook profile via his statuses or shoutouts. The suit was filed at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Taytay, Rizal.
Apparently, she was being referred to as “Queen of False Pretenses” and “Queen of Incompetence” on his page. Atty. Guevarra called for boycotting the Belo Clinics on his page as well. This stemmed from the case being handled by Guevarra where his client, a former Belo patient, underwent a butt augmentation where the banned substance Hydrogel was used. Of course, said procedure went wrong hence the lawsuit against Belo. It was also found that Dra. Belo is not a licensed cosmetic surgeon according to the Philippine Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS).Also, it was said that Belo’s not even in Guevarra’s friends’ list but it was her general manager who was able to befriend the latter.
So would this suit prosper? I’m eagerly awaiting the outcome of this case. Libel cases are interesting and all but I think our laws about it are a bit outdated hence not much of said cases do really prosper. Is there even such a thing called Internet libel? According to the Department of Justice, there is none hence it dismissed the case of Yuchengco v. Piccio. Is it not the case that the list in the Art. 355 of the RPC is exclusive? Perhaps Dra. Belo should sue for damages instead?
Be careful of what you post now, people! Facebook posts may soon be declared outside of your constitutionally protected rights depending on the outcome of this case or legislative amendments. Brace yourselves. =p