Department of Justice

Prosecutor orders filing of cyber libel cases vs Manibela head Mar Valbuena

Jairo Bolledo

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Prosecutor orders filing of cyber libel cases vs Manibela head Mar Valbuena

MANIBELA. In this photo, jeepney transport group Manibela head Mar Valbuena, along with jeepney drivers, file a petition at the Office of the Ombudsman accusing the top officials of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board of violations of the anti-graft practices act in pushing for the government’s PUV Modernization Program and its push for consolidation of franchises to hasten the phaseout of the traditional jeepneys, on February 7, 2024.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

The charges stem from complaints filed by Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista against Valbuena, who had accused him of alleged corruption

MANILA, Philippines – A Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor has approved the filing of cyber libel cases against Manibela head Mar Valbuena.

The cyber libel complaints were filed by Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista.

In a resolution dated February 22, but was recently publicized, Assistant State Prosecutor Maria Kristhina Paat-Salumbides recommended the filing of two counts of cyber libel against Valbuena. Prosecutor General Benedicto Malcontento and Deputy State Prosecutor Olivia Laroza-Torrevillas approved the resolution.

“Besides, it must be pointed out that in the live video uploaded on Manibela’s Facebook page, the words used by respondent during his entire ‘update’ shows respondent’s intention to mock, malign, and injure the reputation, credit, and virtue of complainant, with the intention of exposing him to public hatred, discredit, contempt and ridicule; hence, malice exists,” the resolution read.

Meanwhile, the prosecution dismissed the grave threats complaint filed against Valbuena for lack of probable cause. The prosecution explained that the alleged threatening statement by the respondent was “not a threat but more of a query or challenge to the complainant.”

Bautista filed the cyber libel complaints against Valbuena for allegedly accusing him of corruption. The DOTr chief’s complaint stemmed from Valbuena’s remarks in a press conference on October 9, where the Manibela head claimed that there was a “lagayan (bribery) scheme” that stretches from the DOTr, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board up to to the Office of the President.

Manibela had also publicly demanded Bautista’s resignation.

When asked in October 2023 if his complaints would have chilling effect on his critics, Bautista said they should just wait for the result of the process that is in place.

Aside from the cyber libel charges, Valbuena and his fellow Manibela leaders were recently sued by the Quezon City Police District for their alleged “disruptive behavior” during a transport strike earlier in April. Valbuena countered the police’s claims, saying they did not violate any law and that it was QCPD personnel who blocked the road, causing Manibela members to get stuck in the traffic. –

1 comment

Sort by
  1. ET

    This should serve as a lesson to those wishing to fight the government’s Corruption Machinery. The government will not hesitate to use its Repression Machinery against those who do so. Anti-corruption critics should be well-prepared regarding evidence, funds, and quality legal assistance; otherwise, it will just be a futile and self-destructive battle. Let corrupt officials enjoy the fruits of their wrongdoing.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!
Avatar photo


Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.