MANILA - The Philippine authorities said on Thursday that they respect the decision by a Singapore court to convict a Filipino nurse of sedition, GMA News reported.
The news came one day after Ed Mundsel Bello Ello, 29, pleaded guilty to publishing a seditious Facebook comment, and to two counts of lying to the police on Jan 3 and 4 this year.
"Mr Ello and his lawyer respect the judgment of the court and have done all that is possible to defend his actions," Foreign Affairs spokesman Charles Jose said, urging overseas Filipinos to follow the laws of their host countries.
"We await the sentence to be handed out by the court on September 16," Mr Jose was quoted by GMA News as saying.
The prosecution is now seeking a sentence of 20 weeks' jail for Ello, calling his remarks "xenophobic, derogatory and highly inflammatory".
On Jan 2, the 29-year-old had labelled Singaporeans as "loosers (sic) in their own country" and vowed to "take their jobs" before "evicting" them from here. Claiming that Singapore would be the "new Filipino state", he also prayed for disasters to strike the country.
The post made on The Real Singapore Facebook page, which went viral on social media, was criticised by Filipinos and Singaporeans.
Worried about the repercussions, the assistant nurse, who was eventually sacked by Tan Tock Seng Hospital, lodged a police report the next day claiming a stranger had accessed his Facebook account and posted those statements.
He added that the stranger must have used a computer at a Lucky Plaza cybercafe he had logged on to.
Police seized the cybercafe terminal along with two of Ello's mobile devices. These were sent for forensic analysis. Only after he was confronted with evidence did he confess that he made the post using his "Edz Ello'' Facebook account from his home.
He was on Wednesday convicted of one charge under the Sedition Act, for promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility. Ello, who is on bail, also admitted his guilt on two counts of providing false information to police.