Woman in viral video over unpaid food set to press charges against online seller

THE woman who went viral on social media for allegedly refusing to pay the balance of the bill for the food package she ordered is cooking legal action against the online seller for defaming her.

Maria Amy Hofileña failed to slap Marjorie Abastas, the online food seller, with fish escabeche, but she is determined to press charges against the latter for alarm and scandal and trespassing into a private property.

Hofileña had the incident recorded in the blotter of the Mabolo Police Station on Monday, July 26, 2021. She was referred to the police station after she went to the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Office 7, which saw no elements of cyber libel in Abastas’ livestream.

Mabolo Police Station Chief Renz Talosig said he advised Hofileña to settle her score with Abastas at the barangay.

The women’s fight also spilled over to the popular national TV show “Raffy Tulfo in Action,” during which Hofileña made a promise to pay the balance at the barangay during the first hearing on Thursday, July 29.

Hofileña divulged that she had already lodged complaints at the barangay against Abastas for oral defamation, unjust vexation and trespassing. She further said she will file complaints against Abastas before the city prosecutor’s office.

Hofileña told Tulfo that she will not settle on the complaints she filed against Abastas because the online food seller shamed her on Facebook live and her mother was captured on video too.

Abastas denied she planned to smear Hofileña’s reputation by going live on Facebook, saying she only wanted the public to know that the food her customer had ordered was enough.

At the beginning of Abastas’ Facebook livestream on Sunday afternoon, July 25 that was shared on a YouTube channel, the online seller narrates that her customer does not want to pay the balance even if the latter lets her guests eat the food delivered by Abastas.

Abastas’ phone camera captures Hofileña’s residence in Barangay Babag 2, Cebu City. The video later captures the food, including a lechon baboy (roasted pig), on the table.

“As you can see, gikaon nila akong mga (they already ate my) food,” Abastas narrates to her viewers.

During their exchange captured in the video stream, it was learned that Hofileña had already paid P9,000. Abastas went to Hofileña’s residence to collect the balance of P10,200.

Hofileña refused to pay the balance because she claimed the food package delivered was not good enough for 50 to 60 persons.

It was learned that Hofileña’s contact was Abastas’ reseller, who was promised a commission of P2,200.

Some netizens got incensed by Hofileña’s attitude, with one saying he is on the side of Abastas because the former was a “matapobre,” or a person who looks down on the poor. The encounter also produced memes, humorous images and clips with variations spread by internet users.

At the end of her livestream, Abastas encouraged the viewers to share her video.

“Pina ingon pa siya nga hapakon ko sa escabeche (She told me she would strike me with the escabeche),” Abastas confides to the viewers. “Suwayi (Just let her try).” (KAL fron AYB)