Thursday, July 27, 2006

And another libel case

'Tis not only the season for journalist killings: it's also the open season for libels.

Embattled former President Joseph Estrada is set to file a Php30-million (US$580,000) libel suit against a Manila-based national daily and two others for accusing him of involvement in a money-laundering operation.

According to Rufus Rodriguez, Estrada’s legal counsel, the former president will sue Manila Standard Today for publishing a series of “malicious” articles based on the exposés made by former beauty queen Joelle Marie Pelaez and her mother Blanquita. Pelaez and her mother are
also to be named respondents in the planned libel suit.

In a series of articles that appeared in Standard Today last May, Pelaez accused Estrada of using her name and signature to embezzle more than Php2-billion (US$38.7-million) worth of stocks, bonds, and cash certificates through transactions with a government-owned bank. Estrada was said to have allegedly courted the United States-based Pelaez in 2000 by giving her expensive gifts.

However, the Sandiganbayan Special Division – the court handling the plunder and perjury trial of Estrada, who was ousted by a popular revolt early 2001 – decided last 17 July, not to allow former President Joseph Estrada to leave his detention quarters in Tanay, Rizal to file the said
libel case against Standard Today and the Pelaezes.

The court decided instead, that a government prosecutor could just go to Estrada's detention place to swear to the authenticity of the complaint his lawyers will file before the Pasig City Prosecutor's office.


little light said...

he doesn't seem so fond of filing libel charges. pang-ilan ba ba nya to?

bryant said...


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