Angel’s Burger sues Facebook user for cyberlibel over ‘staged photo’

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Fast-food chain Angel’s Burger filed on Wednesday, July 22, a cyberlibel complaint against a netizen for posting on Facebook what it claimed is a “staged photograph” of a burger with a coin in the patty represented as a product of Angel’s Burger.

Angel’s Burger brand manager Jose Alfredo Canlas de Leon (left) shows off the cyberlibel complaint lodged at the Marikina City Prosecutor’s Office. At right is his lawyer Gabriel Ablola

Lawyer Gabriel Ablola said his client, Angelica DL Mojica Corporation which owns Angel’s Burger, is represented in the cyberlibel case by Jose Alfredo Canlas de Leon, a brand manager of the company.

“This cyberlibel case was filed to protect interests of small business owners of over 1000 franchisees of Angel’s Burger kiosks nationwide, especially now when these entrepreneurs are suffering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and community quarantines,” Ablola said in a statement.

“The respondent netizen claimed as his own and represented as true the staged photograph he maliciously posted on Facebook twice, first on May 30, 2019 and again on May 30, 2020,” the lawyer said.

The image posted on Facebook depicted a bitten-off burger with a metal coin embedded in the burger patty. The post came with text comment that says, “Hayop ka Angel’s Burger. Unang kagat may sukli agad.”

In his complaint-affidavit, the complainant, Jose Alfredo Canlas de Leon, said the “malicious” Facebook posts are “easily accessible and viewable by anyone connected to the internet, was shared by at least 39,000 Facebook users.”

De Leon also said the netizen feloniously communicated the malicious imputations against Angel’s Burger not only to his Facebook friends and followers but to anyone who has access to the Internet.”

The complainant said the “libelous article mentioned Angel’s Burger and included a product he (the netizen) purports to be ours, staged to look like there was a coin in the patty.”

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