“Jollibee scandal” video: Libel?

Last week, I saw a video with an interesting “Jollibee Scandal” caption. I chose to forget about it; then I saw the post of Talentado, which pointed to the post of Abe. From there, I got real curious.

A simple Google search led me to a number of blogs, including that of Mike Abundo, discussing this topic. Mike mentions a “bunch of anonymous trolls” who think that Abe should delete the post and the fact that Abe faced “far worse threats”. This previous threat relates to another company, a representative of which demanded that Abe delete a particular comment on a post. Abe replied to that demand by saying, among others, that the company should “go after the guy that made the comment and not make rounds on the internet threathening to sue bloggers if they don’t remove them”.

Now, this is precisely the problem faced by the Parents Enabling Parents Coalition. Its officers were sued for libel based on a comment posted in a blog post.

I thought about some issues after watching the video last week. Maybe it’s time to bring it up here and start a discussion. First, read the elements of libel. Note that a corporation like Jollibee may sue for libel because libel is not only for individuals. Malice is presumed, which means that the defense (or the one who posted the allegedly “libelous” statement) has the burden of proving otherwise. The video certainly causes dishonor, discredit or contempt on the part of Jollibee. If a blogger posts the video, even if he is not the one who recorded it, will he be liable? Going a step further, is the author responsible for a “libelous” comment on his post?

Let’s start the ball rolling.

4 comments

  1. The reference to Abe is only an illustration. However, the fact remains that in the PEP case, the public prosecutors found probable cause on the basis of a comment appearing on their blog. The absence of malice may be a defense, but given this precedent, it’s definitely a hassle to go through all the court proceedings.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *