Filipino rock veteran Dong Abay says he will file cyber libel lawsuits against two people who mistakenly identified him as a participant in the recent US Capitol Hill riot.
According to ABS-CBN, Abay – known as the frontman of defunct bands Yano and Pan – said on Saturday (January 9) that he would file charges against Filipino-American immigration lawyer Rodel Rodis and writer Gemma Nemenzo.
The two had reportedly mistakenly named Dong Abay in social media posts as a masked supporter of outgoing US President Donald Trump, who had been seen wielding a walis tambo broom at the Capitol attack on Wednesday (January 6).
“This is to inform the public that I’m pursuing a cyber libel case to be administered by a U.S. lawyer against Gemma Nemenzo and Rodel Rodis for spreading fake news,” Abay said wrote on social media.
This is to inform the public that I'm pursuing a cyber libel case to be administered by a U.S. lawyer against Gemma Nemenzo and Rodel Rodis for spreading fake news.
In a Facebook post, Rodis apparently called Abay the “FilAm insurrectionist” who was part of the group that laid siege on Capitol Hill. He shared photos of the rioter alongside pictures of Abay, and thanked Nemenzo – implying she was the source of the claim.
See the post, as saved and reposted by Dong Abay below:
Rodel Rodis, presidente ng Dedeebs Chapter sa San Francisco, U.S.A. Talunang pulitiko na KSP! Hindi ako Fil -Am, gago! O1 visa ko. 🖕
Rappler reports that despite Rodis’ claims, Abay has been based in the Philippines, playing online shows with fellow musicians.
On Friday, Abay posted a photo of the masked rioter – who he called Captain Dedeebs – on Facebook with the caption: “Little brown man in the land of the giants posing with his costume bought at the Dollar Store. Walis from Ilocos Sur.”
Captain Dedeebs Little brown man in the land of the giants posing with his costume bought at the Dollar Store. Walis from Ilocos Sur.
Rodis later apologised to Abay. “My friend, Gemma Nemenzo, responded that it was Dong Abay, so I posted his name. My apologies to Dong Abay,” he said in another Facebook post on Friday (January 8).
This was the original FB post I saw which caused me to ask for the identity of this "Filipino Trump supporter". My…
In a Facebook post the following day, Abay wrote: “I don’t fucking care if you’re an immigration lawyer or a privileged Filipino-American because I’m a rockstar,” accompanied by the hahstags #boomer” and “#boomerang.”
I don't fucking care if you're an immigration lawyer or a privileged Filipino-American because I'm a rockstar. #boomer #boomerang
Hundreds of rioters, including several Filipino-American Trump loyalists, stormed the US Capitol grounds in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The rioting took place as US House of Representatives and Senate were certifying the results of the polls and confirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
On January 10, Abay nodded to the controversy by posting a tongue-in-cheek photo of himself holding a sculpted walis tambo, gifted to him by a friend.