MANILA – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Sunday lashed out at the daily broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) for publishing two reports about groups opposing his nomination for a seat at the UN International Law Commission (ILC), a body of experts tasked with developing and… Read More
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.
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
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 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.
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)
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Rappler executive editor and chief executive officer Maria Angelita Ressa and writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. who were found guilty of cyber libel by a Manila court may raise an appeal with the Court of Appeals (CA), their counsel said.
Defense counsel Theodore Te, in a press briefing after the promulgation of the verdict on Monday, June 15, said they are studying their options including possibly appealing the case to the Court of Appeals CA.
Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa sentenced the two to imprisonment ranging from six months and one day to six years. READ MORE
Conviction highlights the ability of the Philippines’ abusive leader to manipulate the laws to go after critical media
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Monday slammed the conviction of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. for cyber libel, saying it is “a devastating blow to media freedom in the Philippines.”
“The verdict against Maria Ressa highlights the ability of the Philippines’ abusive leader to manipulate the laws to go after critical, well-respected media voices whatever the ultimate cost to the country,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch in a statement following the issuance of the decision.
“The Rappler case will reverberate not just in the Philippines, but in many countries that long considered the country a robust environment for media freedom,” he added.
HRW noted that the cases filed against Rappler only show the Duterte administration’s determination to intimidate and shut down the online news site. READ MORE
Originally published in GMA News Online