A Cebu film writer and owner of a local bar was arrested early morning on Sunday, April 19 over a sarcastic Facebook post she made in relation to the coronavirus “contamination” of Sitio Zapatera in Cebu City.
Maria Victoria Beltran’s lawyer, Vincent Isles, confirmed the arrest to Rappler in a text message. (READ: Entire Cebu City sitio ‘presumed contaminated’ with coronavirus)
“It’s an egregious violation of her rights,” Isles said in a text message. He said that they have no information on what the exact charges are and who issued the arrest warrant.
Brigadier General Albert Ferro, Central Visayas’ police director, told Rappler in a text message Beltran was being charged with violating Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Law.
The cybercrime unit is under the Police Regional Office-7 (PRO-7).
The arrest stemmed from a post made by Beltran on Sitio Zapatera, in Barangay Luz, an area of over 9,000 residents, having the most number of COVID-19 cases in Cebu City.
Her post said, “9,000+ new cases (all from Zapatera) of Covid-19 in Cebu City in one day. We are now the epicenter in the whole solar system.”
To this, Mayor Edgar Labella replied in Cebuano: “This is FAKE NEWS and this is a criminal act. Just wait Ms Beltran, you’ll soon be caught by the PNP Cybercrime Unit. You’ll really be thrown in prison.”
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