Woman In Cebu City Nabbed For Spreading “Fake News”
CEBU CITY – A woman in Cebu City was recently arrested on Sunday, April 19, after she was accused of spreading fake news.
According to SunStar, the woman, identified as Maria Victoria Beltran, a writer and entrepreneur, was taken into custody via a joint operation by the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) 7 and the Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit 7.
In her Facebook post, Beltran wrote that there are allegedly more than 9,000 new cases in the said city, all from Zapatera. She was then brought to the RID 7 office for proper disposition and pending the filing of a case against her.
This was the said post which was screenshot by the article:
Her legal counsel, Vicent Isles, said that her arrest was invalid because it was warrantles.
“Our rules are very clear when an arrest without a duly issued warrant from the court could occur: caught in the act, hot pursuit, and escapee from jail. None of these three exists. She was not caught in the act of committing a crime. There was no hot pursuit. Obviously she is not an escapee,”
In the said operation, there were six policemen who knocked on her house and nabbed her after she present herself. This was from Benjamin Militar, who is also her counsel.
“There’s no probable cause. So, we hope that she will be released and the case will be dismissed at the inquest,”
As per the report, complains against the writer will be filed before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on this day. She will then face an inquest proceeding, during which the evidence against her will be weighed by the prosecutor.
Beltran was held “incommunicado” after her capture. Militar was able to talk with her after 3 PM Sunday after the city mayor Edgardo Labella had a conference with the policemen.
Labella screenshot her post on his Facebook page, where he said that the post was “fake news” and a criminal act.
However, the Movement against Tyranny (MAT) Cebu said that her post was nothing but “satirical”.
MAT then added that the government should also prosecute government institutions and personalities that spread fake news and not just nitpick citizens and critics.
“Miss Beltran’s post was also satirical of such vague information shared by these responsible government offices and was not presented as a news claim,”
Luz Barangay Councilor Maynard Salinguhay, on the other hand, urged the public not to spread fake news as this gives a psychological impact on the people of the barangay, especially in the aforementioned Sitio Zapatera.
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