Yeng Constantino dragged into court for cyber libel over ‘doctor shaming’

<i>Photo: Yeng Constantino / FB</i>
Photo: Yeng Constantino / FB

Pop star Yeng Constantino posted bail this afternoon after a Surigao del Norte court ordered her held in connection with a cyber libel case filed by a doctor she skewered in a viral vlog.

If convicted, Constantino faces up to six years in prison over the July video in which she complained that her husband received substandard care at a Dapa town hospital in Siargao. After she accused the attending doctor, later identified as Esterlina Tan, of being indifferent to his situation, a public backlash saw #NoDoctorShaming trend online, and the physician filed suit.

“Our client Ms Yeng Constantino-Asuncion, has posted bail and an Order approving the same [bail] has just been signed,” Constantino’s lawyer, Joji Alonso, said in a statement. The lawyer added that while they had yet to receive the complaint, they would address its substance in the next few days.

Read: Singer Yeng Constantino criticizes Siargao hospital; slammed for ‘doctor-shaming’

Constantino removed the video after it was watched millions of times and public opinion turned against her. The Dapa medical staff insisted they did their best to help Constantino’s husband.

Despite her public apology to the doctor and medical staff – she said her emotions got the better of her – Tan filed suit several months later.

The matter only caught up with her today because, although the singer’s arrest warrant was issued one month ago, it only reached the police Friday morning, according to ABS-CBN News. Her freedom remains in the balance.

“We were given a copy just now so I have to ask my provincial director as to the status because the bail is just PHP30,000 (about US$600), so if the warrant arrest is still live, she could be subjected to arrest,” said regional police chief Brig. Gen. Joselito Esquivel.

In September, Constantino announced she would take time off from social media to recover from the backlash. The singer-songwriter, who rose to fame after winning ABS-CBN’s pop-star boot camp reality show Pinoy Dream Academy in 2006, said it was the first time in her decade-long career she’d received so much online ire.


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