Former Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno issued a warning to netizens to be careful with their words online, especially in regards to accusing actress Kris Aquino of stealing the ill-gotten Marcos jewels.
The first warning
In a Facebook post last Saturday, Sereno warned netizens that they may face a criminal case if they continue accusing Aquino without any basis. “Criminal case na po ang maaaring harapin niyo sa pagbibintang na ginamit ni Kris Aquino ang alahas ni Imelda na ayon sa Supreme Court ay galing sa NAKAW NA YAMAN. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas at PCGG na po ang nagsabing imposible ito,” her post began.
Why did she issue a warning?
The warning stemmed from some netizens once again sharing posts about the rumors from years ago. In 2015 to 2016, rumors saying that Aquino was wearing one of the seized pieces of jewelry of former first lady Imelda Marcos went around online. One such post from an unverified source spreading the rumor around is below:
These rumors have been disputed
Aquino herself made a statement in 2016, saying that she purchased her Bottega Veneta necklace using her own savings.
“One thing that I really fear is that when you allow lies to continue, they become truths,” she said. “I just want everyone to see it to put the issue to rest. When the truth is on your side, it’s easy to discuss anything. Natakot lang ako na if you continue ignoring something because you thought it was senseless and baseless, for some people it can be acknowledged as baka totoo.”
The accusations aren’t just against Kris Aquino
Netizens flinging these accusations around aren’t just pointing fingers at the actress, but also the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) and Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
“Dalawang government institutions po at isang individual ang sinisiraan niyo. Paano po niyo sinisiraan ang PCGG at Bangko Sentral? Dahil po sa ilalim ng batas, hindi nila maaaring galawin at ipagamit sa maling paraan ang mga assets na ipinagkatiwala sa kanila, gaya ng mga alahas na nasamsam na ill-gotten wealth. In effect, inaakusahan niyo ang PCGG at Bangko Sentral ng paglabag sa batas,” Sereno explained.
Previously, they weren’t as strict
In the past years since these rumors first circulated, they tried to explain properly and discuss with the accusers that there is no basis for their accusations against Aquino and the two government agencies. “Dati po ay dinadaan lang natin sa paliwanag na walang basehan ang akusasyon nila kay Kris Aquino, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, at sa PCGG,” Sereno said. And yet, the rumors resurfaced once again.
This time, reports will be made
So this time, Sereno said they will actively report these accusations to the proper government channels in order to take action against spreading such libelous rumors.
“Hindi po tumitigil ang ganitong mga masasamang bintang at krimen po iyan,” Sereno said. “Kaya’t iipunin na po namin ang mga screenshots ng ganitong mga comments at ipadadala sa kinauukulan. Nasosobrahan na po ang pagiging kriminal ng mga gawain niyo. Yung mga may resibo ng ganitong comments, paki-forward po by pm sa akin, and I will forward. Gawin po natin itong activity laban sa iresponsableng paggamit ng salita.”
Unfortunately, some didn’t seem to learn
Some netizens are still making accusations even after the warning. There are a few netizens who even made those accusations in the comment section of Sereno’s post. Meanwhile, others have actually sent posts of netizens making accusations.
So Sereno went through with the warning
Sereno later edited the post to insert an update, saying she is actually collating the receipts to be reported. “May mga nagpapadala na po ng mga resibo ng krimen sa akin. Iniipon na po natin ang mga ito,” her update said.
That’s why you should be careful what you say about anyone online — you might just end up seeing yourself facing a potential lawsuit.
What do you think of Sereno’s warning? Tell us your thoughts below.