National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) operatives arrested on Monday, Nov. 22, former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada over cyber libel charges filed against him by Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon.
Mejorada was found guilty of four counts of online libel by the Pasay Regional Trial Court (RTC) for his "libelous" social media and blog posts against Drilon.
He accused the senator of alleged overpricing and other irregularities in various projects in Iloilo, including the Iloilo Convention Center.
The arrest of Mejorada was confirmed by his partner Ruby on Facebook.
“I want to inform everybody he was arrested by agents of the NBI Special Operations Group at around 9:20 a.m. today, Nov. 22, 2021. He was treated well, according to him. He will be turned over to the NBI detention center this afternoon,” she wrote.
“He wasn’t able to say good-bye and he asked me to post this message for him. Maraming salamat mula sa kanya. Please pray for him,” Ruby added.
In 2017, the Pasay RTC sentenced Mejorada to a prison term of at least two years and five months to a maximum of four years and five months.
Mejorada’s conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeals (CA) in 2018. He then appealed to the Supreme Court (SC) but failed to get a favorable ruling.
“As correctly ruled by the CA, the elements of libel were sufficiently established by the prosecution,” the SC said in its 2019 ruling.
“It was not necessary to establish that the publication was motivated by any malice since the articles were not privileged communication or fair comments; thus, malice is presumed,” the high court further said.IMT