Saturday, December 16, 2006

A "very brazen" resolution -- Newsbreak

FIVE editors of the Newsbreak magazine posted bail at the Regional Trial Court of the Manila City Hall last December 14 following the approval of the filing in court of libel charges against them by the husband of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The journalists were sued in connection with an article that appeared in Newsbreak magazine on December 3, 2003. Editor-in-chief Maritess Danguilan Vitug, managing editor Glenda Gloria, editorial consultant Jose Dalisay, former business editor Ricky Carandang and former contributing editor Booma Cruz (who also works for PJR Reports as copy editor) each posted a bail of P10,000 to preempt the arrest warrant that is expected to be issued soon.

In an interview by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), Vitug described the resolution as "very brazen," adding that: “It looks like we can no longer seek protection from the law. We know we can stand our ground in court but the issue here is the message that the charges send to other journalists.”

Newsbreak staff posts bail for Arroyo libel charge
Source: CMFR

Five journalists posted bail at the Regional Trial Court of the Manila City Hall on 14 December 2006 following the approval of the filing in court of libel charges against them by the husband of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The journalists were sued in connection with an article that appeared in Newsbreak magazine on 3 December 2003. Editor-in-chief Maritess Danguilan Vitug, managing editor Glenda Gloria, editorial consultant Jose Dalisay, former business editor Ricky Carandang and former contributing editor Booma Cruz each posted a bail of P10,000 ($200) to preempt the arrest
warrant that is expected to be issued soon.

The resolution, written by an assistant city prosecutor of Manila, stated that the accused journalists “meant and intended to convey false and malicious insinuations” against Jose Miguel Arroyo, the president’s spouse. It said that the story was “highly libelous and offensive and
derogatory to the good name, character and reputation… of the First
Gentleman.”

Read more here.

In a statement posted in their website, Vitug wrote:

"Clearly, our story is not libelous. It's amazing that we've been singled out for prosecution. The message we're getting is this: no matter how responsible journalists are, you can no longer seek protection in the law.

"It is quite unfortunate that the Manila prosecutor misunderstands the role of the press. Never in the course of our work do we write "solely to besmirch" the reputation of a person. Our foremost duty is to inform readers on issues that are vital to public interest. Mr. Arroyo is only one among many public figures we have written about.

"We're ready to face Mr. Arroyo in court. We worry, though, about the impact of this libel case on our profession."

Check out the full statement.

1 comment:

luthien said...

another martial law is in the air...sampahan daw ba ng kaso lahat ng di type ni FG at ng pamilyang arroyo. che!

 
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