Pasig Vice Mayor files cyber libel rap vs mayoralty rival Vico Sotto

Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2022 10:55 PM

MANILA - Pasig Vice Mayor Iyo Bernardo on Friday filed a cyber libel complaint against Mayor Vico Sotto over a flag ceremony incident where the mayor urged his second-in-command to "shun away from politicking" and "do his job first" before issuing criticisms.

In an interview with journalists at the Pasig Bulwagan ng Katarungan, Bernardo said Sotto’s statement on January 10, 2022 was carried live, and shared in various social media.

“Naniniwala po ako na hindi ho dapat nagagamit ang flag ceremony pagdating po sa political agenda," he said.

"Dapat po ang flag ceremony ay ginagamit po 'to para pasalamatan ang mga empleyado ho namin, para i-encourage, para lalo hong magtrabaho po para sa mga Pasigueño," he said.

"Dahil ho nakalive ho yun pong ginawa sa flag ceremony at kumalat ho sa social media, at nalaman din po ng mga media."

Bernardo -- who refused to give a copy of the complaint to journalists -- denied that he was using the case in the run up to the May 9 elections, where he and Sotto are both vying for Pasig's mayoralty post.

“One week after po nung nangyari po ang insidente, ako po ay sumagot ho sa video at sinabi ko po dun na I will seek legal advice po kaya po wala naman po sa timeline," the vice mayor said.

"Hindi nga po ako sanay sa social media, hindi po ako sanay sa media, kaya ho uulitin ko ho, since 2007 po ako ay hindi naman po marunong manira ang mga Pasigueño at lalong lalo na ho hindi ho sa flag ceremony," he said.

Bernardo's lawyer, Atty. Ramon Gerard Hernandez, explained it took time to prepare the 14-page complaint.

"Nangyari kasi 'to sometime in January and si Vice talaga maraming mga kinausap siyang lawyers and yung pagpiprepare natin ng complaint at saka yung pag-aaral sa isang kaso, hindi talaga kaagad agad yun," Hernandez said.

"So in as much ayaw talaga natin na mabahiran na ginagamit for political propaganda, siguro kung finile natin to mga 1 month or 2 weeks before the election itself, doon baka pwede pa, pero ang layo," he said.

In a text message to reporters on Friday, Sotto said he has yet to receive a copy of Bernardo's complaint.

“Wala pa po kaming info na natatanggap kung ano ba talaga ang kasong naisampa ni Vice Mayor Bernardo. We will wait for the notice from the prosecutor," he said.

Hours later, the 32-year-old mayor was seen using the “haha” emoji to react to Vice Mayor Iyo Bernardo’s interview about his cyber libel complaint.

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