Pinay gets sued for libel over ‘malicious’ e-mails-A A +A
Tuesday, October 1, 2013
A FRENCH national filed a libel case against a Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City resident who caused him to divorce his Filipina wife.
On Aug. 11, 2011, French national Arthur (real name withheld) accepted a friend request from 42-year-old Sara (real name withheld) on social networking site Facebook.
A month later, he divorced his Filipina wife based on Sara’s reports that his spouse was having an extra-marital affair in the Philippines.
But Arthur, an official of the information technology department of a pharmaceutical company in Singapore, felt that Sara had invaded his privacy when she “bombarded” him with e-mails and sent “malicious” pictures to his stepson.
Assistant Cebu City Prosecutor Anna Lou Fernandez-Cavada found enough evidence to indict Sara with libel, a violation under the Revised Penal Code.
Bail was set at P12,000 for the accused, whose case was resolved after she failed to submit her counter-affidavit.
Arthur said Sara allegedly created a Facebook account for him, which she used to contact Arthur’s family. She tried to convince his relatives that he needed help so he can be saved from his former wife.
“She registered my name without my knowledge or permission in numerous websites, including sex and dating websites, using all my e-mail addresses, including my professional one,” said Arthur in his affidavit.
On Sept. 24 last year, Sara sent e-mail messages to several persons accusing Arthur of having illicit affairs with different women. She also called his former wife a whore.
In Arthur's affidavit, he said he received a message from Sara, who said she had a lot of things to reveal. She gave her contact number.
The Frenchman called the number and learned that Sara is living on M. Bogornia St. in Barangay Mabolo. They have not met in person.
During their conversation, Arthur said Sara disclosed her “sexual fantasies and romantic feelings” for him, but he refused her advances.
Arthur said Sara threatened to commit to suicide if he continued to ignore her. She also asked for money to cure her illnesses and for business.
“I felt pity for her. Thus I, for humanitarian reasons, gave her the money she asked for. I always, however, made it very clear to her that I do not have any romantic feelings or sexual desires for her,” Arthur said.
Lawyer Ethelbert Ouano said social media users should be wary about accepting friend requests on Facebook.
Ouano, Cebu Bloggers Society legal adviser and consultant, said Facebook offers friends groupings and other security features that help users prevent “unwelcome intrusions.”
“If you accept a friend, accept him because he is really a friend,” he said.
He said he would check mutual friends before accepting a friend request.
“You may ask your mutual friends to verify” the identity of the person making the reques, he said.
Ouano said that if the person's identity cannot be verified, the friend request must not be accepted.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 01, 2013.