‘Wag Basta Bira! Jinggoy Hails Critic’s Cyber Libel Conviction

(POLITIKO) Senator Jinggoy Estrada has welcomed the decision of a Quezon City Regional Trial Court convicting a Facebook user who maligned him online.

Estrada was referring to the decision of the Quezon city Regional Trial Court Branch 90 which convicted Jessant So of cyber libel for this “libelous, malicious, defamatory, false, misleading, and were intended to cast aspersion on my character,” the senator said.

While he is a public official, Estrada said freedom of expression cannot be used as an excuse to accuse an official of corruption without basis.

“It has been validated that everything he accused me of was false. He should face the consequences and serve his sentence,” Estrada said in a statement on Oct. 22 (Sunday).

“Freedom of expression and the right to critique public figures are crucial for a healthy democracy. Ngunit may hangganan din ang mga karapatang ito lalo na kung walang bahid ng katotohanan ang mga paratang,” he added.

The senator hoped the incident would serve as a lesson for netizens who criticize people in government online without evidence.

“Magsilbi sana itong leksyon sa mga katulad niya na walang habas sa paninira sa ibang tao sa kanilang mga social media accounts,” Estrada said.

The Facebook user was sentenced the penalty of imprisonment of prisión correccional in its maximum period from 4 years, 2 months and 1 day to 6 years to prisión mayor in its minimum period of 6 years and 1 day to 8 years for each of the seven cases.

The decision was penned by Presiding Judge Maria Zoraida Zabat Tuazon.