AFTER years of allegedly maligning a former Cebu City councilor on social media, two men were arrested Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, for cyber libel.

Regional Trial Court Branch 11 Judge Ramon B. Daomillas Jr. issued the arrest warrants for Johan Quirol Saludes alias “Repos Agib” and Jonel Saced alias “Inday Josa Osmeña Chongbian.”

Saceda and Saludes were both charged with violations of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 by former Cebu City councilor Niña Mabatid in 2021, when she was still a councilor.

Saceda, a resident of Punta Princesa, was arrested by personnel of the Cebu City Police Station 10, while Saludes was arrested by agents of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Barangay Day-as.

SunStar learned that both Saceda and Saludes were out on bail a day after they were arrested.

Too much

Mabatid, in an interview, said the two men had been calling her names on Facebook since she assumed office as city councilor in 2019.

“I understand that these things happen when you join politics, but it’s just too much. It’s already below the belt,” Mabatid said.

Mabatid said it was her children who suffered the most from the libelous statements online.

“I cannot take it anymore, not with my children suffering from these malicious statements and defaming my name,” Mabatid added.

“Actually, I felt justified when I learned about their arrest, but I also feel sad for them since I know they are just being used by my adversaries, such as Richard Yap and Joel Garganera,” Mabatid added.

Mabatid said she is still confused as to why Saceda and Saludes turned against her. She said she knew both men and had been supporting them in all their requests for support.

“All I do as a councilor is help, and I don’t understand why, all of a sudden, Saceda and Saludes have been maligning me like almost on a daily basis,” Mabatid added.

Mabatid ran for Congress during the last election against actor Richard Yap, Rachel Marguerite “Cutie” del Mar, Avenescio Piramide and Manuel Momongan in the Cebu City North District but lost to Del Mar.

In a separate interview, Garganera denied Mabatid’s allegations.

“I’ve been in politics for 33 years. I just focus on doing my job and do not find the need or the honor of resorting to such tactic. My family and I have been the victims of social media trolls, so I know what that feels like. I’ve always been on the receiving end of such attacks. God is my witness and I never resorted to that and will never resort to that,” Garganera told SunStar Cebu.

SunStar Cebu had yet to get a statement from Yap’s camp as of press time. (PAC, IRT / MVG)