Ello Ed Mundsel Bello, a Filipino nurse previously working at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, was sentenced to four months in jail on Monday after being convicted of one count under the Sedition Act and two counts of providing false information to the police.
Two other charges – one each for sedition and lying to the police – were taken into consideration in determining his sentencing.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam said that Bello’s offence would be “met with the full brunt of the law in the form of a deterrent sentence” as he had incited “public disquiet and impassioned responses” and potentially harmed Singaporean-Filipino relations in Singapore.
The judge went on to say that Bello’s “provocative conduct, if left unchecked, could possibly result in discrimination against the innocent and law-abiding minority Filipino residents in Singapore.”
“In a nation whose only resource are its people, we simply cannot afford to condone any act which poses a threat to our social stability and security,” Shanmugam added.
Bello had referred to Singaporeans as “losers” in a post on The Real Singapore in January, in a post: “REMEMBER PINOY BETTER AND STRONGER THAN STINKAPOREANS.”
He later deleted the post, but not before it was screencapped and shared on other Facebook pages, such as the Kaki News Network. Police reports were filed against him.
During the investigation, Bello initially claimed that the post was not written by him, and that someone else had accessed his Facebook account at an Internet cafe in Lucky Plaza.
Bello’s work permit will also be revoked and he will be permanently barred from working in Singapore.
The maximum sentence for promoting feelings of ill-will and hostility between different races or classes of the Singapore population is up to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of $5,000. The maximum sentence for giving false information to the police is up to one year in prison and a fine of $5,000.