Category Archives: LIBEL

NOBEL PRIZE AWARDEE Maria Ressa blames Duterte gov’t for her cyber libel rap

RESSA A CONVICTED FELON FOR CYBER LIBEL

By ROGER M. BALANZA

Rappler founder Maria Ressa on Tuesday, October 12, stood firm on her claim the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte was behind the cyberlibel crime filed against her even as she thanked Malacanang for congratulating her for winning the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 for journalism.

Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa is escorted by police after posting bail in Pasig Regional Trial Court on March 29, 2019.

Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov won the 2021 Nobel prize for braving the “wrath of their respective governments to expose corruption and misrule.”

“I suppose thank you and then what I didn’t appreciate is almost hand in hand it came with a hit,” Ressa said of the Malacañang statement congratulating her for her award.

However, Ressa spiced up the thank you with a sour note relating to the cyberlibel rap filed against her..

“Hand in hand with that (congratulation) was this reminder, which is a lie… that the cyberlibel complaint is filed by an individual and what the government repeatedly refuses to say is that it takes a government to actually file a criminal case, ” she said.

“So this is the government’s case, it’s the Department of Justice’s, it is their decision. So they should really own it. So thanks, but not thanks, ” Ressa said.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday said in a virtual press briefing,that the Palace is congratulating Ressa but slammed the journalist for her claim about government being behind the libel case.

The criminal liability of Maria Ressa remains pending in our courts and we leave it to our courts,” Roque said. Ressa is on bail from a libel rap filed by a businessman.

Roque said Ressa still has to clear her name before the Philippine court.

“In fact, she’s a convicted felon for cyber libel in the Philippines and faces other cases in the Philippines and that’s for the court to decide,” he said.

Ressa is the first Filipino recipient of the prestigious citation. She was also the first woman to receive this year’s Nobel Prize award.

Roque congratulated Ressa, noting that the award is “a victory for a Filipina.”

Roque said press freedom in the Philippines is alive “and the proof is the Nobel prize award given to Maria Ressa.”

IS MINDANISIA ‘PRESIDENT’ ELY PAMATONG running in 2022 for president of the Philippines?


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Antique congressional aspirant wants to decriminalize libel

SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – An Antiqueño lawyer aspiring to represent his province’s lone district in Congress will push to decriminalize libel against media practitioners once elected in the May 2022 elections.

Lawyer Abdiel Dan Elijah Fajardo, former national president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) under the Liberal Party (LP) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office here on Wednesday.

“My father and I had since been advocating for the decriminalization of libel against media practitioners, so hopefully I would win in the election so I could pursue it,” he said in a press conference that followed.

“Due to fear of libel suits, media practitioners could not freely express their opinions for they might be committing public and malicious imputation of a crime, or a vice or defect or to have caused dishonor on a person,” he added.

A media practitioner found to have committed libel, as provided for under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, has to face prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging from PHP200 to PHP6,000 or both.

The media under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code may also face civil action, which may be brought by the offended party.

“The media, who are already almost struggling in their economic existence also, would of course be cowered in expressing their opinions so as not to get a libel suit,” Fajardo added.

He said those who are also usually filing libel against media practitioners are only after the civil action because of the damage caused on their reputation and not really imprisonment of the media so there is a need for the decriminalization of libel.

Fajardo is the eldest son of the late Daniel Gumban Fajardo, who published the regional newspaper Panay News and served as president of the Iloilo Press Club (IPC), a media organization. 

PACQUIAO FILES P100M libel cases vs. Quiboloy

Libel case mere propaganda

 September 14, 2021

DAVAO CITY – The libel cases filed by Senator Manny Pacquiao are retaliatory and politicalin nature considering that election season is coming, said the legal counsel of Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, the founder of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.Pacquiao filed PHP100-million libel and cyber libel cases… Read More

RADIO ‘BLOCKTIMERS’ WARNED VS. POLITICAL ASSASSINS

Told to be more vigilant as the election season nears

By ROGERM. BALANZA

Radio broadcasters are in the crossfire of political violence during elections, and a Malacanang official warned against a spike in media killings with the May 2022 national elections only months ahead.

 Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), issued the warning following the killing of a radio broadcaster in Cebu City.

Reynante “Rey” Cortes, a blocktimer for radio station dyRB, was shot dead by motorcycle “riding in tandem” gunmen in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Thursday.

PTFoMS is an inter-agency body created by President Rodrigo Duterte at the start of his term in 2016, to protect members of the press against violence and intimidation.

Egco reminded broadcasters, specifically blocktimers, to be more vigilant as the election season nears.

He said, historically, there is a spike in election-related violence committed against blocktimers as the election heats up, especially at the local level.

Blocktiming is the practice of buying “blocks” of air time to produce programs independent of networks and stations.

Egco has ordered Philippine National Police (PNP) investigators to thoroughly look into the case to find out if the incident was in connection with his blocktime program.

The PNP is one of the law enforcement agencies that comprise the PTFoMS.

Records of media killings in the Philippines show that most of the victims were blocktime radio broadcasters identified with political persons or groups.

The PTFoMS has already requested legislators to look into the practice by radio stations of selling time slots to the blocktime broadcasters, most of whom are not accredited by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KBP), which police media ethics violations by broadcasters.

SY EGCO TO BARMM: ENSURE SAFETY OF MEDIA WORKERS

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) called for the creation of a regional counterpart in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to ensure the safety of media workers and prevent another Maguindanao massacre from happening again.

“I urge the Bangsamoro Region to create a counterpart Task Force of PTFoMS. The mechanism being implemented by the PTFoMS has been acknowledged by international organizations as an effective deterrent against media violence,” PTFoMS Executive Director Usec. Joel Sy Egco said.

Sy Egco made this call during the oath-taking ceremony of the members and officials of the Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, BARMM Government Compound, Cotabato City recently.

He said “a BARMM Task Force on Media Security could be the only solution in preventing a repetition of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre that happened in 2009,” referring to the incident in Ampatuan town that left 58 people dead, including 32 journalists.

THE DAVAO DE ORO LIBEL CASE: Fake radio broadcasters, fake radio station

By ROGER M. BALANZA

PART II – Kapisanan ng mga Pekeng Brodkasters ng Piipinas (KPBP)

In the libel cases filed by Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy and his father Provincial Board member Arturo “Chiongkee” Uy, the Davao de Oro government officials were not only facing up to radio broadcasters whodo not play the media profession by the rules.

THE OTSO INIDORO FAKE BROADCASTERS GANG. Clockwise, Bogat Saliot, Jongjong konko aka Pader Lamotak, Edward Macapili, Rowell Sembrano, David Pac aka Dodong David, Renan Dumapi aka Ka Mario Bobby Lagro aka Doc Bobby and Emie Gorgio aka Doc Emie

The Uys were also up against an eight-man band of fake radio broadcasters brutally firing unfounded defamatory missiles from an unlicensed radio station, without regard whatsoever to even the barest requirement of media ethics.

The gang calls their group as the Magnificent 8, but critics gave them an obnoxious name, Otso Inidoro, to do justice to the garbage that spews out of their mouth.

Since early May this year the Uys endured a barrage of brutal commentaries fired early morning, noon and evening by the Otso Inidoro gang from two FM radio stations (InfiniteRadio FM 96.1-Tagum City and Power Radio 94.7 – DavaoCity) accusing them of corruption and other irregularities.

The black propaganda being fired just months before the May 2022 elections, the Uys can only suspect that the Otso Inidoro was hired by a Davao de Oro politician who wanted to challenge Gov Uy’s reelection and a Davao del Norte politician whose reelection could be challenged by an Uy.

Talks say the Davao de Oro politician coughed up half-a-million pesos to the Otso Inidoro to conduct the smear drive against the Uys.

LIBEL RAPS FILED VS. DAVNOR CAPITOL BROADCASTERS BEHIND SMEAR DRIVE VS DAVAO DE ORO’S UYS

Records also show that the Otso Inidoro gang are listed in the payroll of the Davao del Norte Office of the Govvernor receiving as much as P30,000 per month.

The Otso Inidoro gang members are also not accredited by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KBP), the agency that police violations of media ethics in the broadcast industry.

Mainstream broadcast media players consider the Otso Inidoro gang as fake broadcasters and jestingly tag the group as members of the Kapisanan ng mga Pekeng Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KPBP).

One of the two radio stations, Tagum City-based Infinite Radio 96.1, where Otso Inidoro broadcast its defmation against the Uys, is also not licensed, operating as a branch of another station with an expired franchise.

The Otso Inidoro gang vowed to send the Uys to jail for alleged overpricing in government purchases and other irregularities, but they may find themselves soon behind bars courtesy of their foul mouths.

The Uys have already filed against the Otso Inidoro more than a hundred counts of libel and cyber libel, based on two months of their morning, noon and evening scurrilous and defamatory assaults on the person and reputation of the Uys, in their radio commentaries and in social media.

The Uys’ legal counsel, Glen Carnicer, said the Uys have never filed a libel case against the media in their long years in government.

The Uys respect the role of media in government, said Carnicer in an interview in the Bakbak program hosted by anchorman Kid Libunao on Tagum City-based RPFM 99.9 radio on Monday, July 5.

But the Otso Inidoro was different. (NEXT – PART III – The Governor’s paid hacks)