DOJ finds probable cause to indict ex-Top Gear editor-in-chief

Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 06 2018 07:56 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has found probable cause to indict former Top Gear Philippines editor-in-chief Vernon Sarne of cyber libel for wrongfully identifying a person as the gunman in a 2016 shooting incident.

The complaint was filed in 2016 by Nestor Punzalan after he was wrongfully identified by Top Gear Philippines as the gunman behind the shooting of a cyclist in Quiapo, Manila.

Only Sarne was recommended for prosecution. The DOJ did not include other Top Gear Philippines staff members since their participation in the social media post was not proven.

Sarne, who resigned from Top Gear Philippines after the incident, declined to comment on the DOJ resolution. Top Gear Philippines also declined to give a statement.

Punzalan said he would confer with his lawyer on possibly making an appeal to indict other Top Gear staff members. His lawyer said the cybercrime law should be amended to stop the proliferation of fake news and online libel.