PNoy support for libel in RA 10175 preceded by hijacking of Facebook campaign page in 2010

Not surprising indeed, that Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III would continue to uphold the newly-enacted Republic Act 10175 a.k.a. the Philippine Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 despite mounting public outrage. Aquino was reportedly quite specific about which aspect of the new law he believes should remain…

“I do not agree that it [the provision on libel] should be removed [from RA 10175],” Mr. Aquino said. “If you say something libelous [on] the Internet, then it is still libelous …. no matter what the format.”

President BS Aquino has a history of exhibiting a blatant lack of respect for the rights and property of users of social media. This attitude first became evident when, upon assuming power in 2010, Malacañang allegedly hijacked a Facebook fan page set up by people who supported Aquino’s candidacy and campaign in the lead up to those elections.

Califorinia-based Ben Totanes and Betty Abrantes set up the ill-fated Facebook “fan page” of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, BSA3 at to gather support to push for a rallying behind Noynoy’s candidacy shortly after the death of his mother former President Corazon Aquino in August 2009. They were then enlisted by Vicente Romano III head of Aquino’s New Media Bureau (and whose claim to fame also comes from being one of the pioneers of on-line petition campaigns in Philippine politics after mounting such an effort against then President Joseph Estrada in 2000) into the campaign.

After amassing more than 1.5 million fans by the time Noynoy was sworn in as President in June of 2010, Abrantes and Totanes found out the hard way the sort of people they had been dealing with. Reported GMA News TV:

[…] after the election, Romano allegedly recommended that the fan page be shut down. Instead, Totanes and Abrantes offered to turn over administration of the page to the then newly-formed Presidential Communications Group on the condition that comments critical of the administration would not be removed.

Sinabi ko sa kanila na pwede pa rin nila gamitin ito, nguni’t dapat pamalagiin itong ‘Feedback Forum’ ng sambayanang Pilipino, at huwag tatanggalin ang mga comments —pro or anti— ng mga tao,” he said.

(I told them that they can still use the fan page, as long as it’s maintained as a venue for feedback from the Filipino people. No comments must be removed, be they negative or positive.)

Coloma allegedly disagreed with Totanes’ conditions, and decided to set up a new official fan page, PresidentNoy at, in August this year.

And then…

On November 9, Totanes received an email directly from Facebook administrators saying that the BSA3 fan page “has been removed for violating (Facebook’s) Terms of Use.”

An official statement from Malacanang issued by Presidential Communications Group head Sec. Herminio Coloma declined to comment on whether Malacanang had a hand in the sudden closure of the original BSA3 page.

Then again, it seems this is yet another one of those things about the Second Aquino Administration that make you go hmmm…. According to, the number of “likes” on the fan page of the new PresidentNoy Facebook page suddenly jumped in number from about 100,000 as of the 8th of November to almost 1.6 million as of the 11th of November.

Considering this revealing instance of digital deceit, it is hardly surprising that the first president — who campaigned upon the wave of a strong backing from social media “activists” — would go on to be the one who would sign into law what is seen to be a most outrageous affront to freedom of expression.

[NB: Parts of this article were lifted from the author’s November 2010 article Did Malacanang hijack the original Noynoy Aquino Facebook fan page?.]


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14 Comments on "PNoy support for libel in RA 10175 preceded by hijacking of Facebook campaign page in 2010"

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Hindi ba 15M yung mga “fans” kuno ng “original” BSA3 fanpage?


I just thought about it but if the SC declares this enactment as unconstitutional, then wouldn’t be the 2nd time the administration has done something unconstitutional?

I recall the first being the truth commission. Is there any other? And for discussion’s sake only, have other administrations of the past done something that was deemed unconstitutional (for reference and discussion only)? No bashing intended.


GuLLLOOOO and her best-friend CJ Corona….. the Corona-court said “No Way!”/Unconstitutional when guLLOO thought her-Gobyerno and MILF/MNLF/AbuLF could just do talking-talking and get to Mindanao MOA- “partitioning” without need of a consti-amendment.

Then Kato (who is still loose, I think) … then Kato and other MILF units started torching villages.


Talk about shooting your own supporters down just to quell some dissenting opinion.

the facebook saga showed that the administration is unscrupulous in hijacking information and also recognises the power of social media to help or hinder their power quest. the increasing number of contracts and closeness with IBM could well reflect other information systems which are being developed and the cybercrime bill, whilst needed in some aspects, may also be a trojan horse for data gathering on a far wider scale as and when required. it is also no coincidence that this bill was prioritised and rushed through. that alone raises suspicions of motives. it is done in other countries and this… Read more »
This is BAD,BAD,BAD.How far off can another round of MARTIAL LAW be? I do want to point something out that seems to be missed by most everyone.A rhetorical question? Why are the same ‘political dynasties’ still around,40 yrs. later?With most looted funds NEVER returned?For those not rhetorically inclined, IT IS NOT BECAUSE FILIPINO’S ARE NOT SAVAGE ENOUGH TO KILL EACH OTHER,AU CONTRARE. THESE ‘DYNASTIES’ EXIST BECAUSE THEY FEED EACH OTHER.WHEN NO ONE IS LOOKING THEY ARE FRIENDS!THEY TAKE TURNS BEING THE LEAD ACTORS IN THE GREAT COMEDY THAT IS POLITICS IN A COUNTRY WHERE A GOVERNMENT TRIES TO MASQUERADE AS… Read more »

Jeez, your post gave me cancer.


Really? Why aren’t you just packing your bags? Do not curse the darkness,light a candle.Just because you have to go to the candle,is not that big a deal.
BUT,the post? Pretty accurate sounding,huh?
All you have to do to see it for what it is(Dismal,at best) is take a look at it from a different vantage point.I find it sad that a lot of people are un-able to do so.It is not as if I just came up with it out of thin air,with no actual basis.NO.


Of course, he would support the Libel clause. After all, it helps him SILENCE! (best read as per Achmed) his critics.

Hyden Toro

Aquino is a deceiver; user of people; political opportunist, etc…he has no morals. If it benefits him, he will use people, for his own advantage….Ma KARMA din siya, sa huli…

Thomas Jefferson


BSA support for the Bangsamoro entity. Same dog different collar?

[…] The first people who felt the vacuousness of the presidential word were no less than (at the time) two of his most loyal campaign supporters, Ben Totanes and Betty Abrantes who set up what was to become the immensely successful Facebook page BSA3 at (now deleted) to gather support to push for a rallying behind Noynoy’s candidacy shortly after the death of his mother former President Corazon Aquino in August 2009. After BS Aquino won the elections and ascended to power, Totanes and Abrantes reportedly disagreed with Malacañang over how the page should be managed going forward. Next… Read more »

[…] someone who used Facebook and Twitter and his website a lot. It’s weird how none of them have his election promises on them. In fact his website took […]