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Defensor dismisses Belmonte’s ‘silly’ cyber libel complaint: Resign if you can’t stand public scrutiny

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By Billy Begas

Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor tagged the cyber libel complaints filed against him by Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte as a “cheap publicity gimmick.”

“The complaint is silly and futile because Mayor Belmonte is an elected official, not a private individual. And she knows this,” said Defensor in a statement.

Defensor is running for mayor against reelectionist Belmonte in the May 9 elections.

The filing of the complaints, Defensor said, is an obvious attempt to draw attention and “She is just after the extra publicity at my expense.

“Ako sinampahan nya ng cyber libel complaint. Papano na lang kaya ang mga ordinaryong residente ng Quezon City na bumabatikos sa kanya sa social media?” Defensor quipped.

Defensor added that the Supreme Court has time and again stressed that elected officials should not be onion-skinned or overly sensitive when it comes to public criticism.

“Like me, Mayor Belmonte is an elected official. We both cannot run away from harsh public scrutiny and disapproval,” Defensor pointed out.

If Belmonte cannot stand public denunciation, Defensor said she should resign as mayor of the city.

“The mayor is just wasting the resources of the prosecutor’s office which has real and pressing cases to deal with,” Defensor noted.

Belmonte’s complaint stemmed from Defensor’s supposed social media posts regarding the deployment of “Baklas army” to take down his posters and overpriced ayuda.

“We would urge Mayor Belmonte to stop her antics, and to respond instead to the criminal complaints for plunder filed against her in connection with the P713 million worth of overpriced ayuda food packs that she bought,” Defensor added.