20 March 2009

Blogger Bambee Under Threat

MANILA, Philippines - Bloggers beware!

The provincial prosecutor of Lanao del Sur has elevated to court libel charges against Marie Dhel “Bambee” de la Paz on the complaint of Agrarian Reform Secretary Nasser Pangandaman Sr. and his two sons arising from her blog over an incident at a golf course in Antipolo City last Dec. 26.

Paca-Ambung Macabando, provincial prosecutor of Lanao del Sur, issued his nine-page resolution dated March 12 elevating the libel charges against De la Paz before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) after she failed to submit her counter-affidavit before the deadline two days earlier.

Macabando said a careful analysis of De la Paz’s blog titled “The World had Gone Crazy” reveals that there was an intention to “impute a discretable act or condition.”

“It was a genuine plea of De la Paz to all persons that may have been reading her blog to support her in portraying Mayor (Nasser) Pangandaman and Secretary Pangandaman as cruel, incompetent government officials, without delicadeza and cannot lead to peace,” said Macabando.

Pangandaman and his sons Nasser Jr., mayor of Masiu town, Lanao del Sur, and Hussein Muhammed are locked in a court battle with the family of De la Paz, because of a scuffle over a simple misunderstanding at the Valley Golf and Country Club in Antipolo City.

The Pangandamans and De la Paz and her father, Delfin, and brother Bino filed charges and counter-charges against each other before the Antipolo City prosecutor’s office.

Because of the incident, the Valley Golf management banned the elder De la Paz from playing in the golf course, while Secretary Pangandaman was meted a two-year suspension.

The children of Pangandaman and De la Paz were also barred for life from playing in Valley Golf.

Macabando claimed that the blog is “obviously libelous for they are malicious imputations of criminal acts tending to dishonor, discredit and contempt Mayor Pangandaman Jr.”

Macabando set a P10,000 bail bond for Bambee de la Paz.

Bambee wrote her narration of the incident on her blog a day after the incident.

Macabando said the blog of De la Paz elicited an angry reaction from fellow bloggers who wrote their personal reactions to the incident, which placed the Pangandamans in a bad light.

Pangandaman’s lawyer Ted Pastrana welcomed Macabando’s decision.

“This case involves libel in cyberspace,” Pastrana pointed out. “I’m sure this is not a pleasant topic for bloggers.”

The STAR tried but failed to reach De la Paz’s lawyer Raymond Fortun for comment.

The elder De la Paz and his son filed charges of physical injuries and child abuse charges against the sons of Secretary Pangandaman. – Non Alquitran


You are not alone Bambee! We will always support you! FIGHT!
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