Why 'Amalayer' won't use Cybercrime Law to sue bullies

Posted at 02/18/14 7:28 PM

MANILA - Remember Amalayer?

Paula Salvosa, the girl who was cyberbullied for berating a female security guard, is no longer interested in the Supreme Court decision to uphold the online libel provision of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

After all, she said she has no interest in filing cases against those who bullied her online. Asked why, she said she has already forgiven her detractors "because I myself am also forgiven."

One reason for her change of heart is that she has found peace in her newfound relationship with Christ.

"I don't want to sound too churchy but when I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart, nawala na lahat ng galit. It is really all about forgiveness. Yung law wala na siyang impact. Getting back at all those people is not on my mind," she said in an interview with ABS-CBNnews.com.

Salvosa's outlook wasn't always like this. In 2012, a video of Salvosa berating a female guard at the Light Rail Transit went viral on Facebook and YouTube.

Her retort against guard Sharon Mae Casinas earned her the nickname "Amalayer" and made her the butt of online bullying in social media.

Salvosa said the cyberbullying was a nightmare for her. She lost weight, stopped going to school and felt threatened by strangers.

She also wanted to file a case against the lady guard and the person who uploaded the video but that no law tackled online libel.

"It changed my whole life drastically. I wanted to change my name, run away to a faraway place and never come back. I wanted to cut my hair. Meron akong takot sa paglabas ng bahay," she said.

Salvosa said her whole "Amalayer" experience taught her a lesson on the value of words: to uplift and to tear down.

She said the experience was the subject of her college thesis in La Consolacion College. She graduated last year, just a few months after the controversy blew up online.

She also plans to write a book about her experience.

Salvosa said she is thankful for the experience and for the hurtful words thrown her way.

"Thankful ako sa guy na nag-upload, sa lady guard, sa lahat ng nang-bash sa akin before. Kasi without that experience, I wouldn't be in this relationship with Jesus," she said.

She added: "What the enemy meant for evil, God turned it to good."

She also said the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 should serve as a "wake-up call" to the public about responsible commenting online.

"It's a wake-up call sa lahat sa tamang paggamit ng social media. Let's be responsible about the words we say. And let's not cyberbully people. Paano kung yung next cyberbullying victim ay hindi nakayanan, nagpakamatay? Let's not wait for that to happen," she said.