‘CRAZY’ PAMATONG SUED DUTERTE FOR LIBEL

Elly Pamatong is no stranger to President Rodrigo Duterte.

Popular in the Davao City media for his outlandish ideas, Pamatong in the past filed a libel complaint against Duterte after the then Davao City Mayor called him “crazy.”

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The case stemmed from Pamatong’s “proposed bill” that he said he would submit to Congress creating the “Republic of Mindanesia,” of which he would be the president. Pamatong’s  “republic” would carve out Mindanao as a separate and independent state.

Also included in Pamatong’s rap was Roger M. Balanza, editor and publisher of the Davao City-based The Duran Post. The weekly published a story on Duterte describing Pamatong as “crazy,” based on the mayor’s statement in his television program Gikan sa Masa Para sa Masa.

Pamatong first made waves in the media in the middle 80s as the lawyer of the late amulet-wearing anti-communist crusader Kumander Lahi.

In 2004, the Commission on Election (Comelec) declared him as a nuisance presidential candidate. Pamatong would gain national infamy and the moniker “Spiky Elly” after, in protest of the Comelec decision, he created a monstrous traffic jam of flat-tired motor vehicles by strewing Manila streets with spikes.

Pamatong was in the news of late: He wants Duterte removed as President.

laugh-pa-more-3-gifRiding on the quo warranto case that deposed Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, Pamatong filed a similar case against the President in the Supreme Court, which has taken cognizance of the case.

Malacañang will respond to the Supreme Court order to President Duterte to answer a quo warranto pleading filed by Pamatong seeking to nullify Duterte’s victory in 2016, according to presidential spokesperson Harry Roque told the Palace media on Friday.

Pamatong claimed Duterte’s certificate of candidacy (COC) was illegal since it was not approved by the Comelec, a report in state-owned PNA said.

Duterte was a substitute for Martin Diño who withdrew his COC for president.

The former mayor for 23 years of Davao City eventually won the presidential election with six million votes margin over his closest rival in the May 2016 polls.

Pamatong filed a quo warranto plea against the President after the SC granted on May 11 a quo warranto petition nullifying the appointment of Sereno as Chief Justice in 2012.

Solicitor General Jose Calida filed the quo warranto petition against Sereno over her failure to file statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

Supreme Court Justices have voted 8-6 on Calida’s petition to remove Sereno as Chief Justice.

Also Read: : UNMASKING ELY PAMATONG

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DURIAN POST EDITOR, PUBLISHER ACQUITTED IN NOGRALES LIBEL RAPS

The Regional Trial Court in Davao City has acquitted two print journalists in libel cases filed by former House Speaker Prospero Nograles in 2010.

10420087_756260074420525_5449078814511165332_nThe October 16, 2017 decision by RTC Branch 11 Judge Leo Tolentino Madrazo dismissing  2 consolidated counts of libel against editor Roger Balanza and publisher Edgar Velez of the Durian Post, was read in court during Promulgation of Judgment on November 17, 2017.

The cases stemmed from two news reports written by Balanza and published in the Durian Post, a weekly paper circulated in the Davao Region.

DUTERTE-NOGRALES FIGHT

In Criminal Case No. 68,511-2010, Nograles said the article titled “The truth and nothing but the truth,” published in the February 22-28 issue of the Durian Post contained the paragraph: “Don’t you know that Benjamin de Guzman and Nograles doctored the COA report to show otherwise?”

THE TRUTH

In his complaint, Nograles said the article was “injurious and defamatory” with the “intention of attacking his honesty, virtue and reputation” and “destroying his reputation and discrediting and ridiculing him in the bar of public opinion.”

In acquitting Balanza and Velez, Judge Madrazo sustained the view of their defense that the article was based on a Commission on Audit  (COA) report “which is a public record available to all.”

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In Criminal Case No. 88, 512–2010, Nograles said the article “Does he deserve your vote? Nograles shaming city before world, nation,” written by Balanza and published in the February 15-21 issue of the Durian Post, was likewise “injurious and defamatory.”

Nograles cited portion of the article which stated: “In another move that brought insult to the city and the Dabawenyos to international level, Nograles, tagging with President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, used the presidential official visit last year to the United States to bring up the case of summary executions in Davao City before the American and United Nations officials.”

The article, according to Nograles, transmitted  “maliciously and intentionally to the public, the impression that (he) in the guise of official business, shamed Davao City and its constituents…. with the object of destroying his reputation and discrediting and ridiculing him in the bar of public opinion.”

“This Court finds that the above-quoted words/phrases do not fall under the ambit of defamatory remarks and may be considered as ‘just criticisms’ or ‘fair comments’ on actuations of public officials,” said Judge Madrazo in his decision.

Judge Madrazo in acquitting the journalists in the seven-year old case, capped his decision with a Supreme Court ruling on “fair comments”:

“Comment and criticism of the public acts of public officials, and of the mental , moral and physical fitness of candidates for elective offices, when made in good faith  and with justifiable motives, are usually privileged. They are an incident of liberty of speech and press freedom. The interests of society require that immunity should be granted to the discussion of public affairs, and that all acts and matters of a public nature may be freely published with fitting comments and strictures. But they do not require that the right to criticize the public acts of public officers should be based upon false statement of facts. Nor do they justify an attack on the private character of the officer, or the right to falsely impute to him malfeasance or misconduct in office.”

FOUR COUNTS

INDAY SARA

Nograles initially filed four counts of libel against the journalists but the court dropped two of the cases and consolidated the remaining two counts.

Nograles filed the cases shortly after the May 2010 elections where he lost in the mayoral contest to then Vice Mayor Sara Duterte, whose media campaign was orchestrated by Balanza.

DURIAN POST NO. 2 – FEB.8-14, 2016

CAMPAIGN IN FULL STEAM

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Campaign headquarters of presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte sprouted like mushrooms all over the country soon after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) dismissed petitions to bar the Davao City Mayor from joining the race to Malacanang in the May election.

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The junking of the disqualifications cases put happy closure to a suspenseful wait by supporters and campaigners who believe in Duterte to effect change in national governance.

The agonizing wait ended with Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim providing color to Duterte’s entry into the presidential race as he announced in a press conference the ruling of the Comelec.

“The punisher will live to die another day,” in jest said Lim. Duterte is widely known as “The Punisher” for his iron-fisted campaign against criminality especially illegal drugs dealing in Davao City.

Four petitions for disqualification have been filed against Duterte sparking apprehensions that he could not join the race.

With his route to Malacanang cleared, it is now full steam ahead for the standard bearer of the opposition Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).

Duterte and his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetanowill be proclaimed on February 9 in Tondo, Manila.

The May 9 presidential derby is a 5-way contest between Duterte, Mar Roxas of the ruling Liberal Party, Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalists Alliance (UNA), independent candidate Senator Grace Poe and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

Duterte had placed his supporters on edge as he somersaulted several times on his decision to run for president.

A year before his dramatic announcement in October that he is joining the derby, Duterte had gone on a year-long nationwide tour dubbed “ Listening Tour” where he advocated a shift to a federal parliamentary type of governance from the present unitary presidential.

The tour gained wide support and calls for him to run for president and spawned the birth of “federal movements” nationwide.

The “federalist” groups along with the numerous Duterte-for-President movements that have sprouted all over the country, were expected to play  potent vote-getting roles in Duterte’s race to the presidency.

With the legal obstacles out of the way, crowd-drawing and tough-talking Duterte faces a tight campaign schedule to speak on his platform of moving the country toward, a shift to a federal system of governance, wiping out criminals especially drug lords, and eliminating corruption in government.

Even before the Comelec decision was handed out, Duterte has made the rounds as guest in election forums organized by various groups including media.

Being now an official candidate, Duterte will join the series of presidential debates sponsored by the poll body and media outlets.

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THE DURIAN POST – NO. 166 – MAY 18-20, 2015 – US EMBASSY EXCITED BY DUTERTE FOR PRESIDENY

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US embassy excited by Duterte for President

BY ROGER M. BALANZA

p9 (1)Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte may not exactly be friendly with the United States but an American official expressed excitement over Duterte’s possible entry into the presidential race in 2016.

     It would be colorful, said Kurt Hoyer, First Secretary and Press Attaché of the US Embassy in the Philippines.

     Duterte has emerged as a potential candidate for the presidency after landing third, after Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Grace Poe, in the latest survey for presidential preference by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.

 I think that would be a very colorful race, said Hoyer in Davao City on May 11 to attend a World Press Freedom Day photo exhibit and a forum on press freedom.

But Hoyer did not go beyond saying that Duterte would bring color to the race to Malacanang, when asked in the forum by media to comment on Duterte running for president.

He said American diplomatic officials in the Philippines are prohibited from making political comments lest they be accused of political interference.

  Election is a matter for Filipinos to decide and not for us to get involved in, he said.

“You asked me to do two things that I am not able to do. One is interfering in Philippine politics, and one is to speculate about the future. I won’t do either.”

He said he will not speculate about the position of the US on the possibility of Duterte joining the presidential race next year.

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Hoyer’s colorful projection of a Duterte presidential run albeit non-political is the first commentary by an American official on the Davao City mayor who in the past minced  no words in attacking the US establishment, its personnel and policies.

           Years ago, Duterte warned he would shoot agents of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) who would set foot in Davao City.

     This after FBI agents ferreted out of a local hospital Michael Terence Meiring, an American national, who lost his legs in a bomb explosion inside his hotel room in Davao City.

Meiring, who claimed to be a treasure hunter, reportedly was an agent of the FBI.

Duterte said Meiring should have answered for the damage he caused in the hotel. He also said Meiring could be behind the series of “US-inspired” bombings in Mindanao.

Meiring, 67, was hurriedly whisked out of the hospital by the FBI agents without knowledge or permission of authorities, and spirited out of the country on a chartered plane.

The May 16, 2002 hotel blast, and the undue import given by US authorities to Meiring then sparked speculation he was part of a network of US spies faking terror in the Philippines.

The blast at the Evergreen Hotel along Uyanguren Street. came at a time while a wave of terror was rocking the country in sporadic bombings, mostly in Mindanao, that killed scores of locals.

Duterte has also been a constant critic of the Balikatan, the annual joint military training of American and Filipino troopers and opposed holding of the military exercise in Davao City.

Last year, he also spurned request by the United States to use the old Davao International Airport as base of its drone operation in Mindanao.

warship‘President Duterte’ to allow US base in Palawan vs. China expansion 

Is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte courting support of the United States for a possible presidential run in 2016.

Known for his vocal posturing against the US, Duterte has been kinder in words to the US recently as the Philippines is locked in territorial dispute with China over islands in the West Philippine Sea.

In Palawan during a recent edition of his Listening Tour, a series of speaking engagements and forums on Federalism, Duterte said that if he is the President, he would lease part of Palawan to the Americans where the US could build a base to help neutralize the Chinese invasion into Philippine territory.