Close  

Filipino who made inflammatory remarks about Singapore convicted

/ 01:29 PM August 27, 2015
Ed Mundsel Bello Ello at a court appearance in April. He was convicted of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility yesterday.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

Ed Mundsel Bello Ello at a court appearance in April. He was convicted of promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility on Wednesday. THE STRAITS TIMES PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE — A Filipino who made disparaging comments about Singaporeans through his Facebook page, and then lied to police repeatedly, pleaded guilty on Wednesday.

The prosecution is now seeking a sentence of 20 weeks in jail for Ed Mundsel Bello Ello, calling his remarks “xenophobic, derogatory and highly inflammatory.”

ADVERTISEMENT

District Judge Siva Shanmugam adjourned sentencing to Sept 16.

On Jan 2, the 29-year-old had labeled Singaporeans as “loosers (sic) in their own country” and vowed to “take their jobs” before “evicting” them from here. Claiming that Singapore would be the “new Filipino state,” he also prayed for disasters to strike the country.

FEATURED STORIES

READ : Singapore hospital sacks Filipino nurse for ‘offensive’ online remarks

The post made on The Real Singapore Facebook page, which went viral on social media, was criticized by Filipinos and Singaporeans.

Worried about the repercussions, the assistant nurse, who was eventually sacked by Tan Tock Seng Hospital, lodged a police report the next day claiming a stranger had accessed his Facebook account and posted those statements. He added that the stranger must have used a computer at a Lucky Plaza cybercafe he had logged on to. Police seized the cybercafe terminal along with two of Ello’s mobile devices. These were sent for forensic analysis. Only after he was confronted with evidence did he confess that he made the post using his “Edz Ello” Facebook account from his home.

On Wednesday, he was convicted of one charge under the Sedition Act, for promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility. Ello, who is on bail, also admitted his guilt on two counts of providing false information to police.

An additional charge under the Sedition Act, and another for lying to police, will be taken into consideration during sentencing.

READ: Filipino nurse charged with sedition in Singapore

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kumaresan Gohulabalan said that since mid-last year, Ello had a habit of making inflammatory comments about Singaporeans, including using a Facebook account where he posed as a Chinese woman.

ADVERTISEMENT

Describing Ello’s Jan 2 comments as hate speech, the DPP said they provoked a large number of Singaporeans. “More than 600 replies were published on various forums online, many of which were vitriolic in substance,” he said, adding that numerous police reports were filed against Ello.

He also pointed out that Ello has yet to apologize for his post.

Ello’s lawyer Mark Goh said the comments were intended to stir up the emotions of those who frequented sociopolitical websites, but his client ended up being alienated and “flamed” by the netizens.

“The irony in this case was that Ed effectively shot himself in the foot,” he said, adding that a sentence of six weeks in jail was sufficient if the court decides on a custodial sentence. “This incident has already extracted a terrible price to both himself and his family. He alienated himself from Singaporean society… lost his job and his retired parents have lost a source of income for the family.”

The maximum penalty under the Sedition Act is a $5,000 (P166,368) fine and three years of jail. For giving false information to a public servant, he could be jailed for up to a year and/or fined up to $5,000 per charge.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: convicted, Facebook, Filipino, inflammatory, Online, post, Singapore, Xenophobia
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.