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Trillanes files cyber-libel case against Thinking Pinoy over ‘drug lord’ post

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Senator Antonio Trillanes IV filed a cyber-libel complaint against blogger Rey Joseph Nieto, also known as Thinking Pinoy on November 22 before the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office.

Trillanes filed a case against Nieto over the latters’ Facebook post on October 31, “Trump Calls Trillanes A Drug Lord.”

The senator said Nieto’s post was outright wrong and malicious, adding that the official transcript of US President Donald Trump’s press statements from the US Embassy did not include such a tag for Trillanes.

“Being a very vocal and staunch critic of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, of whom Respondent Nieto is a self-confessed diehard supporter and defender, Respondent Nieto’s post was clearly made solely for the purpose of besmirching my reputation and maligning my name,” Trillanes stated in his complaint.

He is seeking moral and exemplary damages of up to P1 million each and legal fees of P250,000 from Nieto, as well as imprisonment, for being liable for cyber-libel, after he “suffered extreme anxiety, wounded feelings, sleepless nights and a slur in his reputation.”

“In order to serve as an example for the public good, and to deter persons similarly inclined like the respondent from committing the same or similar offense, Complainant most respectfully prays that Respondent be made to pay exemplary damages in the amount of ONE MILLION PESOS,” the senator said.

Section 6 of Republic Act 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) states that libel committed using information and communication technologies shall be penalized one degree higher than libel committed through printing or writing.

The law said an act falls under libel if it imputes vice, crime or defect, whether real or imaginary; be public, malicious, or directed at a person, alive or dead, and must tend to cause the discredit, dishonor or contempt of the person being defamed.

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Trillanes also filed libel and graft cases against Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson over bank account claims.

Philippine Star columnist Al Pedroche issued an apology to Trillanes for his column, where he claimed a trusted source told him that Trump called the Philippine senator “little narco.” His column was then used as basis by another Philippine Star columnist, Mary Ann Reyes, but it was later taken down by the news site since the “supposed information cited in the column has been disputed by various other sources.”

Trillanes said that even an apology from Nieto cannot stop him from filing the case.

“Wala na. I believe lumagpas na tayo dun sa punto na yun,” the senator told reporters.

“Ngayon kasi kailangan nating magbigay ng leksyon, na habang nirerespeto natin ang freedom of expression at bilang public official ay mataas ng threshold natin diyan, pero kailangan meron kang responsibilidad,” he added.

He said he could have let it pass if Nieto stopped with name-calling, but he could not accept being labeled a “drug lord.”

“Kung tatawagin mo akong drug lord ay ibang usapan yan. I take that personally,” Trillanes said. “Kung tawagin niya kong ungas o anuman, it’s part of the territory. Pero yung direct allegation na gano’n, I will not allow it.”

When Trillanes first announced his plan to file a libel case against Nieto, the blogger called said it was “disappointing to see a lawmaker who is ignorant of the law.”

Nieto also cited that his post included the word “reportedly.”

“The allegedly libelous statement contains the word ‘reportedly.’ I hope the Senator, who appears to have no access to a dictionary, can at least Google what that word means,” Nieto said.

As to Nieto wondering whether Trillanes saw him as a “threat,” the senator responded, saying that the blogger was a “minor distraction.”

“Masyado naman siyang bilib sa sarili niya kung ganun. I’ve been up against presidents. Ginagawa ko yung trabaho ko, pero itong ganito kasi minor distraction actually,” Trillanes said.

“He is a minor distraction to be honest. Kailangan ko lang harapin kasi mamimihasa yan. Kung sa akin, kaya niyang gawin yan, eh ngayon kung gagawin niya sa taong walang accountability ay magiging anarchy itong ating lipunan,” he added.

As for Pedroche, Trillanes said he would no longer include the veteran journalist and columnist in his complaint because he already apologized.

Nieto used to serve as a consultant for the Department of Foreign Affairs, but decided to resign in October less than a week after being called to a Senate hearing on fake news.

The blogger said the Constitution should include psychiatric tests for senators.

“I have yet to receive a copy of Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV’s libel complaint, but wouldn’t it be fun if it starts with, “This is where your taxes go.”?” Nieto wrote on Facebook in reaction to reports about Trillanes’ libel complaint against him.

“The constitution should be amended to require psychiatric tests for senators,” he added.

When GMA News Online reached out to the blogger for comment, he said: “My statement will be published on   ThinkingPinoy.net. It will also be found on my Facebook page.”

Here are excerpts of Trillanes’ case against Nieto:

 

Sources: ( rappler.cominquirer.netgmanetwork.commanilastandard.net )

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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