The first Facebook libel case happened in the United Kingdom. Businessman Mathew Firsht sued a former school friend over a false personal profile status on the site, including private information about him and untrue allegations about his sexual preferences.
But the first Facebook libel case in the world where the complainant does not even belong to the defendant’s network of Facebook friends is happening right here, right now in the Philippines:
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of celebrity cosmetic surgeon Vicky Belo is challenging activist-lawyer Argee Guevarra, who faces a libel suit for allegedly maligning her in his Facebook shoutouts, to just face the issues in court.
Lawyer Adel Tamano, spokesman of the Belo Medical Group, dared Guevarra to “go to the proper forum, which are the courts of law, instead of engaging in trial by publicity.”
“To date… Guevarra has not filed any case with the courts of law against the Belo Medical Group, which is the proper procedure as it will allow all the parties to present their side. In fact, at the hearing of the libel case, Guevarra did not even attend the preliminary investigation and has opted instead to make statements to the press,” he said in a statement sent to The STAR.
Tamano said Belo was only forced to file the libel case against Guevarra “to protect her good name and reputation.”
He is reacting to a reported statement by Guevarra, who said Belo’s complaint against him will be “an opportunity to invite public attention to the hazards of cosmetic surgery clinics performing surgeries with untrained and unskilled medical practitioners and advertising such services as safe.”
The online community should be very wary about what it’s writing. But!… I’m just curious…
What if I come up with a story that goes this way: “Vicki Belo paid JB Lazarte tons of moolah to distribute Hayden Kho’s ‘educational videos’ with Katrina Halili”? Will I get sued?
Haha! That sounds odd: People of the Philippines vs FILIPINO eSCRIBBLES, LOL!