Governor’s critic faces 5 more libel charges

Cebu Governor Gwendo­lyn ‘Gwen’ Garcia. (File photo)
Cebu Governor Gwendo­lyn ‘Gwen’ Garcia. (File photo)

A KNOWN critic of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Dr. Rowena Burden, was again indicted on five more counts of cyber libel for alleged “malicious” statements against the governor.

An indictment means that prosecutors found probable cause to charge Burden before the prosecutor’s office.

In a nine-page resolution dated Oct. 31, 2023, approved by Provincial Prosecutor Ludivico Cutaran, Prosecutor Marlon Atillo recommended filing of five more counts of alleged violations of Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, against Burden.

Atillo set the bail at P48,000 for each count, referring to Burden’s statements posted on Facebook on the following dates: Sept. 5, 2023, at 6:43 p.m.; Sept. 9, 2023, at 12:13 p.m.; Sept. 9, 2023, at 10:11 a.m.; Sept. 17, 2023, at 12:43 p.m. and Sept. 18, 2023, at 6:49 a.m.

According to a report on Sugbo News, the official media arm of the Cebu Provincial Government, Burden had branded Garcia a liar along with her daughter, Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia-Frasco, and the governor’s brother, Third District Rep. Pablo John Garcia.

The report added that Burden also accused Garcia of corruption for allegedly using public funds for personal trips abroad and for properties acquired by the governor.

Burden also posted about the governor’s alleged sexual activities.

“The incontrovertible evidence of defamatory character are the very statements which is the subject matter of these complaints where Respondent (Burden) publicly called the Private Complainant (Garcia) of being a liar, a bully, a corrupt person, by implying the use of public funds for her personal gain, for soliciting sex, an immoral person for being a narcissist,” read an excerpt of the resolution posted by Sugbo News.

The indictments of Burden on five counts of cyber libel were on top of three earlier indictments, also for cyber libel, filed against her last October 11.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Nov. 10, Burden said the numerous cyber libel cases were meant to harass her.

“Doing the right thing against all odds is always messy if it is done against those who have amassed power and wealth,” Burden said.The one/s who call out against abuse of power, corruption, and violations of the code of ethics for public officials is/are expected to be the target/s of villification and destruction by any means possible here in our country.”

“And, yes, I want my days in court so that all the truth that I have to say will forever be in public records,” she added.


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