Brian Gorrell vs. DJ Montano blogging and Mar Roxas for President blogging

Brian Gorrell just hit the spotlight when he exposed that DJ Montano allegedly swindeled him US$ 70,000! Until now, I can't still say if I would believe Brian or DJ even though I had already read Brian's blog and saw DJ's interview with Korina Sanchez in ANC's Korina Today.

Earlier, Ms. Sanchez discussed the dangers of blogging together with experts on different fields of law, blogging and etc. before DJ Montano's interview and I realized that on the other perspective, my blogging about Mar Roxas for President in 2010 might be a challenge for the Philippines' election laws as to Brian's blogging against DJ Montano a challenge to Philippines' and Australia's libel and information technology laws.

I once asked myself last year about the legality of what I am doing and if blogging about Mar Roxas for President in 2010 would turn out to be a future legal challenge on me. I am not a lawyer, but I had aspired to be one, and as I had reviewed the 2 Philippine election laws namely the Batas Pambansa Blg. 881 also known as the "Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines" and Republic Act No. 9006 also known as "The Fair Election Act", I'm safe!

In the "Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines", Article X, Sec. 79 (b) states that:

(b) The term "election campaign" or "partisan political activity" refers to an act designed to promote the election or defeat of a particular candidate or candidates to a public office which shall include:

(1) Forming organizations, associations, clubs, committees or other groups of persons for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign for or against a candidate;

(2) Holding political caucuses, conferences, meetings, rallies, parades, or other similar assemblies, for the purpose of soliciting votes and/or undertaking any campaign or propaganda for or against a candidate;

(3) Making speeches, announcements or commentaries, or holding interviews for or against the election of any candidate for public office;

(4) Publishing or distributing campaign literature or materials designed to support or oppose the election of any candidate; or

(5) Directly or indirectly soliciting votes, pledges or support for or against a candidate.

The foregoing enumerated acts if performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nomination for candidacy to a public office by a political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties shall not be considered as election campaign or partisan election activity.

Public expressions or opinions or discussions of probable issues in a forthcoming election or on attributes of or criticisms against probable candidates proposed to be nominated in a forthcoming political party convention shall not be construed as part of any election campaign or partisan political activity contemplated under this Article.
The "The Fair Election Act" didn't classified blogs nor websites to be as "any broadcast of election propaganda" on its parameters. As stated in Sec. 4.1, only "newspaper, newsletter, news weekly, gazette or magazine advertising, posters, pamphlets, comic books, circulars, handbills, bumper stickers, streamers, simple list of candidates or any published or printed political matter and any broadcast of election propaganda by television or radio for or against a candidate or group of candidates to any public office."

Furthermore, the conditions enumerated to be part of "election campaign" or "partisan political activity" in the "Omnibus Election Code" is allowed if it is "performed for the purpose of enhancing the chances of aspirants for nomination for candidacy to a public office by a political party, aggroupment, or coalition of parties", it's not considered as an election campaign. It's urging, or in other words "drafting", a person to run for a public position and that's what my blog has been doing.

I didn't violated the 2 elections laws and I'm confident that if ever someone tries to challenge me on the court with regards to my blogging activity, I have a strong argument to defend my case.

But I still need a good advice from a lawyer (or lawyers) and I'm tagging those online lawyers to freely give me guidance and advice on what would be the limits on my blogging. Also, I hope to have their reactions if I had violated election laws with regards to blogging about Mar Roxas for President in 2010.

My parting words, on Brian Gorrell's blogging vs. DJ Montano, good luck and don't just keep posting your thoughts on your blog. I encourage Brian and DJ to lay down your respective arguments on the court. But, as what I had said, it's still a challenge on Philippine and Australian libel and information technology laws to set the parameters to resolve this case.

And once again, as for now, I'm safe! :)

About The Blogger
Kevin Ray N. Chua

Kevin Ray N. Chua is a 19 year-old blogger from Cebu City, Philippines and an IT Student at Cebu Institute of Technology.

He is currently the Secretary General of the CIT-SSG.

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5 Responses So far
on April 13, 2008 at 12:48 AM  

Two things

1. I am going to report you ar Mar to the comelec on monday.

2. You prick for using brians problem to give MAR publicity, He is as bad as the the rest.

No Ethics....

on April 13, 2008 at 1:05 AM  

Yes, blogging is a form of electronic publication, and it may fall as "electioneering", a clear violation of the Election Code. However, upon reading your blog, let me point out that you said "I didn't violated any laws", very clearly, you just murdered the english language. You have no sense of grammar, and I believe that was the reason you did not become a lawyer, thank God. Please do not ride on the Brian Gorrell-DJ Montano blog popularity to push your agenda, that is to promote your website. Pathetic, really.

on April 13, 2008 at 7:51 AM  

"Earlier, Ms. Sanchez discussed about the dangers of blogging..."

When you use the word "discuss" don't use "about".

"Earlier, Ms. Sanchez discussed the dangers of blogging.....", would be enough.

English 101

batang buotan
on April 14, 2008 at 11:42 AM  

I am not a lawyer, thus, I am not in the position to give legal opinion about this matter. However, I insist that it is not safe to say that you are already safe.

@jakedeleonramirez: I don't think that the author of this blog take advantage of Gorrell-Montano case to promote this blog. He don't need to. This blog has many readers long before that Gorrell-Montano mania. We are irritated with grammatical flaws but we can always correct things up in a manner that may not be interpreted as "rude". Let us admit that even the "well-edited" national dailies contain grammatical errors. And there many language experts who edit, proofread stories before printing.

Kevin Ray
on April 14, 2008 at 11:57 AM  

Batang Buotan, I believe that I'm safe, only for NOW. But I know that time will come and somebody would try to stop me from blogging.

And BTW, thanks for the reaction on my "grammatical flaws." I appreciate it!

@jakedeleonramirez - I understand that you have high expectations on me. But I'll try my best not to disappoint you on my English grammar.

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