Bohol First District Congressman Edgar Migriño Chatto has filed legal action against Willy Ramasola for allegedly violating the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Ramasola has been accused of making malicious attacks on Chatto, his family, and those closely connected to him on social media.
Chatto said that he is not trying to silence critics, but that he wants to set a precedent for the limits of freedom of expression in the context of technology and social media use.
He said that mainstream media has clear rules on libel and standards so that they do not violate freedom of expression and human rights.
“What Willy Ramasola is doing cannot be tolerated – bullying, derogatory and libelous statements,” Chatto said.
Chatto said that he is used to valid criticisms in governance issues, but that he finds fake, derogatory and libelous statements unacceptable.
He said that it is important to listen to criticism, whether positive or negative, as public officials do not have a monopoly of good ideas.
Chatto’s lead counsel, Atty. Lord “Popot” Marapao IV, said that Ramasola now faces 21 counts of cyber libel after the complaints were filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office recently.
The case is still pending, but Chatto said that he hopes that it will send a message to others who might be tempted to make malicious attacks on public officials online.
“We want to make sure that people understand that there are consequences for abusing technology and social media,” Chatto said.
In reaction, Ramasola posted the following statement on his Facebook account:
“My reaction to Cong. Edgar Chatto’s harassment libel case filed against me out of desperation. Press the panic button na Cong kay paunlod na ang barko.”