BE CAREFUL what you write in chat groups, it may be used against you.
Two more women, this time in Lapu-Lapu City, learned this the hard way after they were arrested by the Regional Anti Cyber-Crime Unit (Racu) 7 for cyber libel.
Their crime? Talking bad about someone in a chat group.
Gemma Marababol, 55 years old of Barangay Bangkal, and Riza Otto, 48 of Ampalaya Village, Barangay Gun-ob were sued by the president of their alumni association, who asked not be identified.
Marababol admitted that she got into an argument with the president of their association, where she serves as secretary. After that argument, she created a chat group with four members but the other members added eight others.
In their chat group, the president became the subject of their conversation and Marababol aired her disappointments since their argument in November 2018. She admitted that she insulted the president.
“(The president) was the one who first scolded me during the alumni meeting of our association. I didn’t fight back because I don’t want any conflict. It was only in the group chat that I aired my disappointments. It’s really just a small matter. On the other hand, Otto was included in the charge after she talked about why the president controlled the funds even if their association had a treasurer.
One of the members of the group took a screen shot of all their messages and sent it to the president, who filed the cyber libel case. The two said they didn’t expect that what they said in the chat group would compel the president to file a cyber libel case.
Police Lt. Colonel Honesto Lazo, the Deputy Chief of Racu 7, said the issue is a reminder for every one to be careful in social media.
“We have to be careful with what we send in group chats. This is a lesson for every one. If you can’t control what you say and you send something libelous, you will be charged,” Lazo said in Filipino.
Marababol also expressed her regret.
“We really have to be careful with what we say in social media,” she said.
On the other hand, the two women who were arrested in Bogo for cyber libel were able to post bail.
Mary Grace Catapan, 31 of Sudlonon, Bogo and Jallyn Gequillo Varga, of Barangay Gairan, gained temporary freedom.
However, the complainant Aileen (not her real name) said she still has more cyber-libel cases pending against the two. (AYB, BBT of SunStar SuperBalita)