Though we are living in a democratic country and has freedom of speech, it does not mean that you can stain the reputation of your fellowmen or co-worker. It is just right to respect the lives of the people around you.
According to Dr. Persida V. Rueda-Acosta, a person who spreads malicious rumors against other people can face legal consequences.
“Upang mabigyan ng bayad-pinsala ang taong biktima ng mapanirang sabi-sabi, maaaring magamit ng nasabi ng biktima ang probisyon ng Civil Code of the Philippines upang makapagsampa ng kasong Damages laban sa taong nagkakalat ng mapanirang tsismis,” says the Attorney.“Tunay nanakasisira sa maaayos na samahan ang pagkakalat ng tsismis sa pamayanan. Marapat na ang lahat ng tao ay malaman na mahalagaang katahimikan ng indibidwal at marapat nabigyan ito ng respeto,” she added.
These malicious rumors end inflicting damages to the victim. Because of this, there is a certain law that protects the lives and rights of every Filipino, even against these people spreading degrading and malicious comments.
“Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy, and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention, and other relief:
- Meddling into the privacy of your neighbors or another person’s residence
- Disturbing or meddling into the private lives of other people
- Causing intrigue to other people
- Humiliating other people
If these malicious rumors are publicized, the victim can file a criminal case against the offender under the provision of Article 357 and 358 of the Revised Penal Code.
“Sa Libel, kinakailangang patunayan ng biktima na nailathala ang nasabing paninira. Ang Libel ay binigyan kahulugan bilang “public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.”
Once proven guilty, Libel is punishable by “prisioncorreccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from 200 to 6,000 pesos”. Aside from that, civil damages must be paid to the victim.