Vicki Belo filed a libel suit against lawyer Argee Guevarra in 2009 for comments he posted on Facebook. Argee Guevarra was then counsel for Josephine Norcio who allegedly suffered complications from butt augmentation procedures conducted by doctors of the Belo Medical Group. Vicky Belo’s complaint against Guevarra was the Philippines’ first Facebook libel case and the first case in the world where the complainant did not belong in the defendant’s friends list.
The Antipolo City Regional Trial Court recently issued a resolution dismissing the complaint for being filed before an improper venue. Apparently, Belo resides in Makati while Guevarra resides in Pasig. It did not touch on the merits of the case.
Guevarra’s counsels, Luke Espiritu and Resty Mendoza, issued a statement saying that the decision is “a small step forward in making Facebook one of the freest forums for the nearly 20 million Filipino Facebook users to exercise their right to free speech and expression.”