Cebu City broadcaster faces cyberlibel

AUTHORITIES arrested on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022, a Cebu City broadcaster over libel charges in relation to his defamatory or libelous remarks against a business corporation on his radio program that was also streamed online, police said on Saturday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) Anti-Cybercrime Group chief Brig. Gen. Joel B. Doria said Arnold Bustamante, 46, was arrested during the service of an arrest warrant for cyber libel in Sitio Fatima, Barangay Apas, Cebu City.

The warrant of arrest was issued by the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 11 on Sept. 22 with a recommended bail bond of P10,000.

The issuance of the arrest warrant fell during the 30th Cebu Press Freedom Week, which was celebrated from Sept. 17 to 24.

According to Doria, Bustamante “allegedly bad-mouthed and defamed the business corporation by faulting their product as fake and harmful to the public on his radio program. This incident prompted the company to file a case of libel against the broadcaster.”

Bustamante has posted bail for his temporary liberty.

The broadcaster was elected for the third consecutive year as president of the Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists (CFBJ), an organization of legitimate media practitioners, during its election of officers last Sunday, Sept. 18.

Bustamante, a correspondent of Superbalita Cebu, refused to issue a statement, saying he still has to consult his lawyer.

Doria has reminded the public “to be thoughtful and prudent in their social media activities and avoid posting defamatory or libelous remarks on various social media platforms.” (TPM / SunStar Philippines)