The Valley Golf and Country Club incident was a sensation for about 3 weeks before it died down in mainstream media. The hype it generated in the internet lasted months. The incident began according to the bloodied de la Paz with an argument over golfing etiquette – as opposed to regular etiquette of people who can’t afford P300,000 membership fees – with the Pangandamans. Leading to a shouting match, bruised egos and bodies and details published in Bambee de la Paz’s blog. Along with a suit from the de la Paz family.
The Pinoy Blogosphere – yes there is one – was aghast over the matter. With tweets and facebook posts here and there. Finally reaching the attention of mainstream media channels like GMA and ABS. Forcing the Pangandamans to file a counter-suit and libel case against Bambee. Incidentally, Bambee was at the US at then height of the public scandal.
This has not been the first time blogging caught the attention of Filipinos. In 2008, the Gucci gang controversy erupted with blogger Brian Gorrell launched his internet campaign to get his money back from DJ Montano. The blog featured Philippine High Society’s drugged-up, elitist habits. Brian’s blog has reached millions of hits and was the subject of an international criminal investigation.
However since the case was between two different nationalities and libel laws the case was stuck in limbo. Which makes the Valley Golf incident the first between Filipino citizens. Since libel automatically assumes malice the proof of burden rests in the writer to prove that the case was important for public good.
In the Philippines, cyber law dictates that the internet provider is free from lawsuits until their is notification that it has to be removed. Since the provider is overseas that makes removing content more difficult since the world is now “globalized” via the net. Also fascinating is how the spread of this medium is making it easier for individuals to bypass traditional medium reaching millions instantly like Brian Gorell.
With the rising use of the internet ever growing in the Philippines, the reach it has can give millions of people the capacity to anonymously state things true and false. Which means that with the publication of even greater material tailored for the Philippine audience means more and more lawsuits filed by people who don’t wish to have their stinkexposed. Which as one fibbing morning radio commentator teaches us probably isn’t as reliable as it sounds.
NB: This is a report for my Ethics Class.