GMA exec wants to teach Sarah Lahbati a lesson

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“Think before you click.”

This was the lesson that GMA 7 executive Annette Gozon-Abrogar said she wanted former Kapuso contract artist Sarah Lahbati to learn when she filed a libel case against the latter in January.

“I did it because I didn’t want it to happen to other people,” Abrogar said during GMA Artist Center’s digital media launch on July 2. “With all the social media websites that we have now, it’s so easy to post comments. People think social media is not governed by criminal law in the Philippines, but it is. I want them to know this.”

In January, on her Twitter account, Lahbati accused Abrogar of engaging in “under-the-table deals” with another talent management group. In June, the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office announced that it found probable cause to charge Lahbati with libel.

“In GMA 7, we have this campaign that says ‘Think before you click.’ Social-media [websites] are very powerful venues … We teach our artists to be responsible and to set a good example to other people on how to use these in positive ways,” Abrogar told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

 

Strong case

 

The network executive added: “I’m not very active on the Internet but whenever I go online, I read about different cases of cyberbullying. Social media should be used for the good. It’s dangerous to not lay down rules for using them.”

Abrogar said she would welcome a sitdown with Lahbati, “but [she needs] to know what is right. People in print media, for example, know [that they should] not go beyond the bounds of propriety, or to intentionally damage another person’s reputation. This should also hold true in social media.”

Abrogar, also a lawyer, however noted, “The libel law in social media is still being developed.”

ANNETTE Gozon-Abrogar urges Kapuso artists to use the Internet responsibly. KIMBERLY DE LA CRUZ

Yet, she is confident she has a strong case. “As a lawyer, I’m well aware of the facts of the case and what laws should be applied,” she pointed out. “I’m not trying to locate her (Lahbati). It’s been said that she’s in Switzerland. The case is for arraignment so if ever she’s here in Manila, she has to appear in court and post bail.”

On their recently launched website, gmanetwork.com/artistcenter, which is dedicated to the Kapuso’s talent management arm, Abrogar said its aim  “is to give information about our artists, but not to encourage people to react. This website is controlled and managed by GMA 7, which can easily remove any comments … deemed below the belt. It’s more of a content website.”

She said the website encourages Kapuso artists to have a stronger presence online. “That’s why we’ve been guiding our talents on how to use the Internet and social media sites properly.”

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  • calipso_2100

    And how about you GMA producers and executives? Do you think well enough in your productions? Are they worthy? Do they make sense? Are they any good? Or basta pwedeng pagkakitaan wala ng isip-isip kung may hindi magandang maiidulot sa mga manonood lalo na sa kabataan?

  • chitgoks

    well.. would be nice kung mabulgar kung sino ang nagsinungaling …

  • Sultan Kirat

    GMA has a great news department, which makes me wonder all the more why they have been less than free and fair with some of their artistas. And I need to qualify that as “new, young, female, contract” artistas. The established male actors like Bong Revilla and the Escalera Trio seem to be doing well enough, even running their own production companies in GMA gigs. Do they have anything against being young, female, and new to the business? Or is it just more profitable to work these talents like yoked oxen before they make a name and think of running for Senate? There, I tried to think before I clicked.

    :-P

  • JanofVA

    Are you really trying to teach Sarah a lesson or are you just trying to send a message across to all your talents that it’s not in their best interest to say anything bad about you??? I think it’s the latter…because why would GMA care about SArah Lahbati? She wasn’t even really that famous…plus she’s no longer in the business…

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