Karapatan offers to help student journo threatened with cyber libel case

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 07 2020 08:09 AM

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MANILA -- A human rights group said Tuesday they will be assisting student journalist Joshua Molo in case his former high school teachers will push through with the filing of cyber libel charges against him.

Jose Mari Callueng, member at large of the national council of Karapatan, said Molo already said he could not afford a lawyer.

"Most certainly we will be providing him with proper and competent legal representation and a bunch of lawyers were actually in contact with us and have pledged their support in this bigger battle of Joshua Molo," Callueng told ANC.

Molo was earlier forced to issue an apology online after a heated argument with his former teacher online regarding the government response in the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"These teachers actually manifested their support for the president and they were offended by Joshua criticizing the president. Ito 'yong tingin kong sinasabi nila, they were offended by this post, mas lalo silang naoffend nung pinost ni Joshua 'yong kanilang naging reactions towards his post. 'Yun 'yong sina-cite allegedly ng mga teachers niya why they were offended and why they were compelled to this blotter against him," Callueng said.

"He actually issued [the apology] right away because he said he could not afford a lawyer at that time. ... The height of all irony, 'yong nag-require o nag-demand ng kanyang public apology ay sila rin 'yong nag-demand na i-takedown 'yong apology hours after it gathered support and viral already," he added explaining the student journo's side.

Callueng said that they have yet to clear to the teacher how they would settle the matter as they want Molo to "publicly apologize in a private setting."

"Initially, complainants would like the public apology [to be] private 'yong set-up ng apology. ... That's what we have to clarify in the coming days. ... The barangay has not yet summoned him again for another mediation hearing."