Cebu governor to sue reporter for libel
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia will be filing a libel complaint against a Cebu-based reporter of a national news website, who posted on Facebook a query asking the governor if she was already senile, or in the dialect, “giangu-ango.”
Garcia, during her meeting with the ECQ (enhanced community quarantine) violators from Talisay City, today, April 13, 2020, also showed screenshots of the posts of Rhea Ruth Rosell.
Rosell, a Cebu correspondent of a national newspaper and online news website, in an April 11-Facebook post asked if Garcia had not been experiencing that condition when she spoke during her regular press conferences.
Garcia, 64, holds an almost daily press briefing since the start of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Cebu province on March 30, 2020.
“Usahay ba makapangutana ko. Sa sige niya [og] yawyaw ba during press conferences, wala pa na siya gi-[angu-ango],” Rossel wrote in her FB post.
Garcia said she would file a libel case against Rosell for the post.
CDN Digital reached out to Rosell for comments on the issue but the latter begged off from issuing a statement for now.
“I will just answer it in the proper forum,” Rosell said in a message reply to CDN Digital.
On top of the libel complaint, Garcia said the province would also sue Rosell for allegedly posting false information on the provincial government’s directive regarding the no-entry to all bodies of water on Easter Sunday.
In her Executive Order No. 5-L-1, Garcia prohibited “all persons from entering the vicinity of private and public beaches and other bodies of water such as waterfalls and rivers.” The EO also prohibited swimming in the beaches and other bodies of water.
In a series of posts, Rosell questioned this action of the provincial government considering that there were communities in the hinterlands that depended on the rivers for their daily water needs.
“Ayaw na intawon mo [og] agi sa sapa. Bawal na magsag-ob, maligo, manghugas [og] plato ug manlaba sa sapa, utang buot,” Rosell captioned the photos of Garcia EO no. 5-L-1 which she uploaded on a Facebook post also on April 11.
In a separate post, Rosell also said that the EO now prohibits fishing since the entry to all bodies of water was probited there.
But Garcia said Rosell had a wrong interpretation of her executive order.
“Ako ba gud nang gibawal? O basin lain pod na siya nga gubernadora nga naghimo og executive order…Wa [ka] kasabot, Rhea Ruth Rosell? Kanus-a man tawon giprohibit nato ang pagpanagat, ang pagpanguha ug uban nga kalan-unon gikan sa dagat? Basa gud diha. Kahibawo ka mobasa? Reporter man unta ka,” Garcia said.
(Did I prohibit that? Or was it another governor who made that executive order … do you not understand, Rhea Ruth Rosell? When did I prohibit fishing, the getting of food from the sea? Please read. Do you know how to read considering that you are a reporter?)
“Ayaw pag-sow og wrong information kay ikiha ta ka. False information man na,” Garcia added.
(Don’t sow false information because I will sue you. That is false information.)
The province, last February 10, 2020, passed an ordinance penalizing the posting of wrong information regarding the development of COVID-19.
The ordinance provides a jail time of up to one year and fine of up to P5,000 for spreading of false information on COVID-19.
Aside from Rosell, Garcia also said she would file a case against a netizen who questioned where she got the money to buy her the expensive bangles that she wears.
Garcia said the netizen seemed to accuse her of stealing from the government’s coffers to buy her accessories./dbs
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