THE City of Las Piñas Prosecutor’s Office has formally recommended the filing of two counts of cyber libel case against talent manager Annabelle Rama-Gutierrez for allegedly maligning and damaging the name and reputation of complainant businessman Jayke Joson.
Under the July 25, 2022 signed resolution, the prosecutor’s office approved that a libel case under Section 4(c)(4) of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 must be filed against Rama-Gutierrez for defaming the complainant through her social-media Instagram account on October 20 and 22 last year.
Joson sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last October 27, 2021. The bureau later on recommended and accompanied Joson in filing a cyber libel complaint against Rama-Gutierrez with the Las Piñas City Prosecutor last January 31, after finding merit with the complaint filed by Joson’s lawyers Larry Gadon, Ramon Esguerra, and Rean Balisi.
Based on the complaint, Joson was allegedly called by Rama “a thief” by accusing him of stealing P140 million together with talent manager Arnold Vegafria from former senator and retired boxing world champion Manny Pacquiao, among other “insulting (and) malicious” remarks, through her Instagram post last October 20.
“After a careful analysis of the evidences filed by the parties and their respective arguments, the undersigned found a probable cause to indict herein respondent [Rama-Gutierrez] for violation of Article 353 of the revised penal code in relation to section 4 (C) 4 of Republic Act No. 10175,” the prosecutor’s resolution said.
Rama-Gutierrez’s denial, also according to the prosecutor’s resolution, has no weight to dismiss the complaint filed by Joson.
“Respondent’s allegations that she was not the one who made the subject commentaries against the complainant smacks of a denial, which is a self-serving defense, which is not enough to overturn our findings that she may have committed the crime charged against her,” the resolution explained.
“Arnold Vegafria and I feel vindicated that the country’s justice system is rolling fast after the city prosecutor has acted favorably on our behalf. It only proves that we’re right with what we are fighting for,” Joson said. “We will continue to fight to stop the disinformation and hold these people accountable.”
Vegafria stated through a sworn statement that the quoted social media statements of Rama-Gutierrez “contained malicious imputations to malign, dishonor, discredit and insult the character” of the complainant Jayke Joson.
If proven guilty, Rama-Gutierrez may face a penalty of two years to 12 years imprisonment, depending on the decision of the judge. The talent manager has yet to comment publicly on the matter and could not be reached for comment as of posting time.