Open Letter to Facebook on the take down of the page ‘Nagmamahal, Meralco’

Ms. Clare Amador

Country Representative

Facebook Philippines

Dear Ms. Amador,

On 9 June, Facebook unpublished the page Nagmamahal, Meralco for allegedly violating your Terms of Use. Your email stated that pages that are hateful, threatening, or obscene are not allowed. Additionally, your communication stated that pages should not attack an individual or a group.

Nagmamahal, Meralco is a page established in August 2017 by the Power for People Coalition (P4P) which serves as the nerve center of a campaign of the same name that criticizes the policies and practices of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) that run counter to our advocacy of providing affordable, sustainable, and reliable electricity for all.

Recently, we have been posting information regarding Meralco’s overbilling during the quarantine and our efforts to reclaim 19 billion pesos that have yet to be refunded to consumers. These are legitimate concerns that have been heard before the Joint Congressional Energy Commission, in which P4P was invited to speak. Apart from these posts, which are clearly not hateful, threatening, or obscene, we have never posted any false information, alleged any officer employee of Meralco to have any personal scandal, nor made any criticism that cannot be backed up by facts.

In light of this, it is very concerning that your company would not only entertain but validate baseless complaints, unless of course Facebook can, once and for all, release the standards on which they base their decisions concerning Terms of Use.

While we have filed our appeal, it is also important to raise serious concerns over your process in resolving complaints. The lack of due process in the unpublishing of our page is blatant. We were not given the opportunity to be heard and to defend ourselves from any complaints. Under your current process, it seems that the determination of violations is subject to the complete discretion of whoever receives the complaint. We hope that we will be allowed to present our side, and that processes for determining complaints would be improved.

In processing our appeal, we hope you consider that the takedown of our page has serious consequences. We are in the midst of what could be the biggest public outrage against Meralco’s billing practices since the PPA scandal of the 1990s. Shutting down a page that consistently holds the power monopoly into account on the basis of mere complaints denies consumers the ability to fight back the inherent power of large companies to dominate the narrative on traditional media. Your company’s action also removed the opportunity for consumers to counter the lobbying efforts of Meralco with coordinated actions to impress upon our political leaders the value of this issue to voters. At the very least, it denies consumers a platform to express their grievances.

Our advocacies are important for a significant segment of the Filipino people. We only ask that we, and other similar pages, be given more leeway in going against the establishment.

Thank you, Ms. Amador, for your kind consideration.


Power for People Coalition

Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED) | Philippine Movement for Climate Justice (PMCJ) | SANLAKAS | Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) | Aniban ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (AMA) | Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) |  Bantay Kita (BK) | Ecowaste Coalition | Fellowship for the Care of Creation Association, Inc. | Global Catholic Climate Movement (GCCM) Pilipinas | KAISA | KONSYUMER | Living Laudato Si (LLS) Philippines | Metro Manila Vendors Association (MMVA) | No Burn Pilipinas (NBP) | Nuclear-Free Bataan Movement (NFBM) | Philippine-Misereor Partnership, Inc. | Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) | World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines