Taiwan OFW to be deported for ‘nasty’ online posts against Duterte
MANILA, Philippines — For her “nasty and malevolent” posts against President Rodrigo Duterte, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) based in Taiwan will be deported to face charges of cyberlibel.
According to Labor Attaché Fidel Macauyag, caregiver Elanel Ordidor will be flown back to the country because her Facebook posts against Duterte were intended “to cause hatred amid the global health crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.”
When labor officials went to Ordidor’s workplace in Yunlin County on Monday to tell her of the charges she might face for her posts, she “committed to delete all her uploaded videos against the President and promised not to do it again,” Macauyag said.
She also promised to issue a public apology, he added.
“However, hours after the visit, several posts were seen on the Philippine Overseas Labor Office Taichung Facebook page from several fake accounts (supporting her) cause,” Macauyag said, adding that labor officials learned that the caregiver was using four other accounts and a group “to discredit and malign the President and destabilize the government.”
The OFW welfare group Migrante described Ordidor’s deportation as “harassment” and a “violation of her democratic right to freedom of expression.”
“Migrante International strongly warns (the labor department) to stop the harassment of Elanel Egot Ordidor. Stop using critical OFWs as punching bag just to divert attention away from the Duterte regime’s inutility in this period of crisis,” said Migrante International chair Joanna Concepcion.
Among the accounts being linked to Ordidor are those of Lenale Elanel Egot, Mha Lan Dee, Linn Silawan and Hampas Lupa.
A video posted in the “Top Viral Video Facebook” page and attributed to Silawan showed a woman ranting about the lockdown imposed by the Duterte administration to curb the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19.
In the video, the woman asked if Duterte had thought through the government’s interventions.
Airing similar sentiments earlier raised in various social media sites, Silawan said people in the Philippines “would die not from the virus but from hunger.”
She also ranted about families being unable to receive their remittances amid rumors of a total lockdown.
The woman in the video urged authorities as well “not to be too loyal to the President.”
“Think of the welfare of your children, your families. Don’t just think about the orders of the President,” she said.
The three-minute video called presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo a “lizard” and die-hard Duterte supporters (collectively known as DDS) as “sons of whores.”
“Due to her acts, (the) Philippine Overseas Labor Office coordinated with her broker and employer on her deportation on the basis of the gravity of Ordidor’s offense under Philippine law,” Macauyag said.
He said the OFW’s posts fall under cyberlibel under Republic Act No. 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
If found guilty, Ordidor may be imprisoned for up to six months or fined up to P250,000, Macauyag said.
Campus editor’s case
Earlier this month, a campus editor was forced to apologize publicly for his post criticizing the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic after barangay officials and his former teachers in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, threatened to file a cyberlibel charge against him.
The National Bureau of Investigation also issued a subpoena for cyberlibel against a netizen, accusing him of fake news for his March 23 social media post that questioned the government’s purchase of a P2-billion business jet when funds were supposedly wanting for health care.
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, however, disputed the “fake news” description and said the post was “fair commentary on matters of public interest.”
“Even in this (COVID-19) emergency, we are still entitled to our opinion. We are still entitled to transparency and accountability by the government,” he said of his client’s post.
Retired Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio also said the post about the P2-billion jet was protected speech that cannot be punished.
“It does not invite imminent lawless action,” Carpio said.
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