You can still be sued for a 12-year old libelous social media post

You can still be sued for a 12-year old libelous social media post

The court conviction of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa has solidified the debate whether or not you can still be sued for articles, blog posts or social media posts you’ve made more than a decade ago.

In 2014, the Supreme Court upheld the “internet libel” section of the Anti-Cybercrime Law (RA 10175) which upgrades libelous statements made on the internet (social media post, blogs, videos) with a one-degree higher prison sentence and a prescription period of up to 12 years (normal libel only has a one-year prescription period).

Ressa along with former Rappler researcher, Reynaldo Santos Jr., were fined PHP400,000 for moral and exemplary damages as well as a prison term of 6 months and 1 day up to 6 years.


The libelous article in question was first published by Santos in May 2012 and updated in February 19, 2014. Keng filed the libel complaint in October 2017.

While the original date of the publication (May 2012) was prior to the enactment of the Anti-Cybercrime Law (September 2012), the Regional Trial Court ruled that the February 19, 2014 revision was technically a re-publication of the libelous article, and thus, falls within the prescription period.

Below is the full copy of the court’s decision:

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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2 Responses

  1. Milhouse says:

    Ridiculous. It was not re-published. I was merely updated to correct a typographical error. The administration of the psychopath president will do everything to silence his critics.

  2. PinoyBusinessman says:

    Updating? Then it was republished, because it was seen anew by old and new readers. I personally know him, he’s a good guy, a philanthropist. He is one of the richest men in the country (real estate, mining, textile, etc) but has always been low-key, preferring to avoid publicity, because he values his privacy. A man of his word, who is a good example of the old China’s Confucian values. He donates to a large number of socioeconomic projects, but you will rarely hear his name being mentioned. Suddenly his name gets dragged into the mud, by this so-called members of the fourth estate, who used him to score points in a political game (which they shouldn’t even be in!). He pleaded and reasoned with Rappler to clear his name, but they ignored him, confident in their invulnerability in being members of the press. The Philippine press is the one of most corrupt in Asia (just ask Noli De Cash – his nickname courtesy of the Chinoy business community), even the sports writers are corrupt!

    I hope this will show them, that their former lives of impunity will no longer be tolerated and that they too will be held accountable for what they do.

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