Gretchen Fullido appeals dismissal of libel rap vs. colleagues
MANILA, Philippines – The camp of television news anchor Gretchen Fullido has filed motion for reconsideration after the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the libel case against her colleagues in ABS-CBN.
In a statement on Thursday, Lawyer Eldrige Marvin Aceron, Fullido’s legal counsel, said they filed the motion to keep the cases alive.
“We have filed this afternoon our Motions for Reconsideration on the resolutions of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office regarding the cases filed by Gretchen Fullido for Libel,” Aceron said.
“Please do not be misled into believing that the cases have been dismissed with finality. The filing of the Motions for Reconsideration, ten days from receipt, keeps the cases alive,” he added.
In October 2018, Fullido filed a sexual harassment complaint against former ABS-CBN news executive Cheryl Favila and news segment producer Maricar Asprec.
The news anchor accused Favila and Asprec of sending her “text messages that were loaded with sexual innuendos, which amounted to requests for sexual favors.”
She also filed libel raps against ABS-CBN news executives Cecilia Drilon and Venancio Borromeo, and reporter Marie Lozano for damaging her reputation “when they stated that she filed a similar sexual harassment complaint against Favila and Asprec with ABS-CBN management to leverage her employment status with ABS-CBN.”
Meanwhile, Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the libel charge and cited the “doctrine of privileged communication” which means statements may not be actionable for libel if the following requisites are present:
(1) The person who made the communication had a legal, moral, or social duty to make the communication, or at least, had an interest to protect, which interest may either be his own or of the one to whom it is made;
(2) The communication is addressed to an officer or a board, or superior, having some interest or duty in the matter, and who has the power to furnish the protection sought; and
(3) The statements in the communication are made in good faith and without malice.
Aceron, however, said their motions will “essentially dispute that all the requisites have been satisfied.”
The lawyer noted that they refused to accept that the respondents in their case have moral and social duty to state in a verified affidavit that Fullido “cannot write” or imply that she deserves to be harassed.
Aceron also said “bystanders who have nothing to do with the sexual harassment case should not be allowed to join the fray, put down the victim with disparaging comments and claim it’s a social and moral duty.”
Aceron added that if the motion is denied, a petition for review will be filed before the Department of Justice./gsg
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