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Court Orders Arrest of Willy Ramasola for 16 Counts of Cyberlibel

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol – A warrant of arrest has been issued against a known fake news spreader on Facebook for allegedly posting defamatory statements online against a former provincial board member and provincial administrator.

The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 48 in Tagbilaran City has ordered the arrest of Emmanuel Bongcac Ramasola, also known as Willy Ramasola, who is based in Makati City, and is said to be receiving money from politicians in order to malign political rivals.

Ramasola is facing 16 counts of cyberlibel under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175) and the Revised Penal Code (RPC) in relation to Section 4(c)(4) of RA 10175.

The cases were filed by ex-Board Member Ae Damalerio, who accused Ramasola of posting malicious and false accusations against him on social media.

According to the warrant of arrest signed by RTC Judge Rufo Naragas on December 12, 2023, Ramasola is required to post a bail of Php10,000 for each count, or a total of Php 160,000, to secure his provisional liberty.

The warrant also stated that the arresting officers must use at least one body-worn camera and one alternative recording device, or a minimum of two devices, to capture and record the relevant incidents in the execution of the warrant, in compliance with the Rules on the Use of Body-Worn Cameras in the Execution of Warrants issued by the Supreme Court.

In recent months, Ramasola, who is connected with a Rotary Club in the National Capital Region, had been issued with several warrants of arrest for cyberlibel.

He allegedly used Facebook as his platform to spread false information against private individuals and political enemies in Bohol.

Reports said a court in Quezon City is due to issue multiple arrest warrants on Ramasola with at least P1.4 million bail for spreading malicious information against a congressman in Bohol.

According to the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (RA 10175), cyberlibel is a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead, and committed through a computer system or any other similar means.

The penalties for cyberlibel under Philippine law can be severe.

Conviction may lead to imprisonment of prision mayor (six years and one day to twelve years) or a fine, or both.

The amount of the fine depends on the circumstances of the case, but it can range from Php 200,000 to Php1,000,000 or even higher. (with additional reporting from Pilipino Ngayon News Online and Makati Independent News Blog)