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Salesman arrested, jailed for calling Duterte 'crazy'

Police arrested on Wednesday, May 13, a 41-year-old salesman in Butuan City for a Facebook post where he called President Rodrigo Duterte an "asshole" and "crazy."

Caraga police said in a Facebook post that they arrested Reynaldo Orcullo for allegedly committing cyberlibel, or violation of Section 4(c)(4) of the Cybercrime Law. 

Police said Orcullo is now under the custody of the Police Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit.

Orcullo wrote on his Facebook account the following, translated from Bisaya: "The pattern is clear. Bong Go will make a show of it, as if he’s asking a favor from the crazy President, Digong is an asshole. Digong is crazy."

Caraga police chief Brigadier General Joselito Esquivel Jr said the arrest should serve as a reminder to netizens that they should be "responsible" in their posts even if they enjoy the "blessings of democracy."

"Again I remind our social media users to think thrice before posting on any social media platform. Be responsible netizens. We do enjoy the blessings of democracy but never go beyond from what you think is right without minding you violate the provisions of the law," Esquivel said.

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno slammed the arrest. (READ: In PH pandemic: Due process for allies, warrantless arrests for the rest)

"Paano aarestuhin ng PNP itong salesman na minura ang Pangulo kung Pangulo nga mismo e minura ang senador, Santo Papa, ang Simbahan, at napakarami pang iba (How can the PNP arrest a salesman who cursed the President when the President curses a senator, the Pope, the Church and so many others)?" said Diokno, who was the subject of Duterte's curses and tirades in a televised speech.

Diokno reminded the police that their primary job is to protect the people.

"Hindi trabaho ng PNP protektahan ang Pangulo sa opinyon ng taumbayan. Ang trabaho 'nyo e protektahan ang taumbayan (It is not the PNP's job to protect the President from the people's opinion. It's job is to protect the people)," said Diokno. 

Others have been arrested and jailed over their social media posts as well in relation to criticism against the President – a teacher in Zambales and a habal-habal driver in Aklan who, in separate Facebook posts, "offered" millions of pesos to anyone who will kill the President. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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