And seventh. Students’ file, vol. 7

  1. Notes of Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay « notes of marichu c. lambino[…] of Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay Published January 28th, 2007 Uncategorized Jan 26th, 2007 at 5:53 am Sentro Fails to Identify News film clips 3rd blog entry By: Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay Student 8 […]Jan 28, 11:26 AM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — Views of Student Number 6
  2. Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay |

Sentro Fails to Identify News Source
3rd blog entry
By: Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay
Student 8 Student 8 Student 8
Unedited by blog administrator
ABC5’s Sentro violated provisions of the KBP Code of Ethics when it failed to attribute its sources properly on Thursday, Jan. 24. A report on the electoral candidates’ alleged use of text messages for their political campaigns presented film clips of Comelec Commissioner Benjamin Abalos without proper attribution. This, again, constitutes a violation of certain provisions from the KBP TV Code, one of which states that: “Voice and film clips of persons involved in the news shall be properly identified”. The “correct and accurate attribution of news sources, whether primary or secondary,” are furthermore “mandatory and considered in keeping with the highest standards of journalism”, according to the code.
Like NewsTonight (see second blog entry), Sentro should have exercised more caution in using improperly attributed film clips for its report. The assumptions that the public may have already been familiar with the news source’s name shouldn’t have been made at all, if ever this was the case. There are, after all, no exceptions as to which news sources to identify in news reports (except of course victims of sexual abuse including minors and suspects in cases of incest).
Recorded from Sentro (Jan.24): 26, 5:53 AM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — Views of Student Number 6

  1. Reylee G. Melendres WORTH-APOLOGIZING

2nd Entry
(Unedited by blog administrator)
The evening program “Maalaala Mo Kaya” which is one of the primetime shows of ABS CBN expressed their apolology last Friday, Jan 19 due to their previous telecast of a story, which exposed a case of incest and obscenity last Jan. 12. Many televiewers reacted to this story entitled “Bibliya” which triggered the staff of the show to convey their public apology through Ms. Charo Santos Conscio, which is the host of the said program.The story was about a father, who sexually-abused his daughters who were all minors. Aside from that, there were scenes, which exhibited cruelty like his wife being battered by him and his act of beating-up his daughters. At the middle of the show, he became a pastor who believed that the best way to be saved is to suffer from pain; therefore, he wounded one of his daughters through cigarette-burn.It is merely unethical in the sense that it offended many viewers. This program is not appropriate to be aired because we all know that children can find time to watch movies every Friday late at night. On the other hand, “Maalaala Mo Kaya” didn’t give warning, they didn’t ask for parental guidance knowing that it would not pass the PG 13 rule.The KBP Code of Ethics stated that violence should be minimized. Actions that will likely incite any person to violence or anti-social behavior are considered unacceptable. Explicit sexual acts or sex perversion or any kind must never be presented or it must be handled with the greatest care.Regarding the guidelines for Drama Programming, drama must not discriminate against cultural groups and the different social and economic levels of society. The fact that the villain in the program portrayed a pastor who was a sadist might somehow offend the pastor society. Their reputation and the universal notion of pastor can be affected.***Jan 25, 11:42 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — Views of Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay | Approve

  1. Views of Student Number 6 « notes of marichu c. lambino | […] Number 6 Published January 24th, 2007 Uncategorized Views of  STUDENT NUMBER 6 Jan 23rd, 2007 at 6:16 am STUDENT N0. 6 Journalism 192 MWX Unedited by blog administratorquote “Kris’ ‘hubby’ […]

Jan 24, 9:09 AM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — next


Journalism 192 MWX
Unedited by blog administrator
Kris’ ‘hubby’ files Senate candidacy?No, James Yap isn’t running for Senator. Manila Standard Today published a story last January 16 which appeared in page A3 (see ) that has a headline ‘Kris ‘hubby’ files Senate candidacy’. Admittedly, after I’ve read that headline, the first person who came to my mind was James Yap. As we all know, Kris Aquino is the most popular ‘Kris’ in town. The ‘hubby’ the article was talking about was not James Yap, but a person named Daniel Magtira, who the article described as ‘a 47-year-old man who claims to be the husband of TV host-actress Kris Aquino”. It was also written in the article that he was officially nominated by Ilocos Norte representative Imee Marcos and Boy Abunda. He’s also a rock star, singer and composer, and an automotive electronic technician from Valenzuela city.The whole article, however, wasn’t all about Magtira. It was about those who already filed their candidacy and whose certificates were accepted by Comelec, including Oliver Lozano, Melchor Chavez, Rommel Pinera and Theodore Aquino.I think Manila Standard’s headline has the ‘human interest’ angle, but it misleads the readers. In the Journalists’ Code of Ethics, it was written that journalists “must interpret the news taking care not to suppress the facts nor to distort the truth by omission or improper emphasis”. It was indeed giving improper emphasis on Daniel Magtira, especially because he claimed that he was Kris Aquino’s husband. If you read the entire article, you’ll see that there were even more information said about Oliver Lozano than Daniel Magtira. Manila Standard Today may argue that they had used that headline for the sake of being striking.
Should the article be all about Daniel Magtira, it might be justifiable. But the article isn’t just about him. And he is

  1. Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay | erratum: Here’s the URl for the NewsTonight Violation Video, sorry.

Jan 18, 2:29 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — FG by counsel

  1. Kristine Felisse C. Mangunay | NewsTonight violates KBP TV Code
    2nd entry
    By: Kristine Felisse Mangunay Student number 8 Student number 8
    Unedited by blog administrator

IBC 13’s NewsTonight committed ethical violations when the identities of some of their news sources were left unidentified last night, Jan. 17. There was no indication of any of the names or schools of some three to four students in film clips included in the National Career Assessment Examination (NCAE) report. The other persons who were interviewed for the same report were, on the other hand, given their designated names and positions.
The inconsistency with which the proper attribution of sources was implemented still clearly constitutes a violation of the TV Code set forth by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP). The code explicitly stipulates that: “Voice and film clips of persons involved in the news shall be properly identified”. “In keeping with the highest standards of broadcast journalism”, it considers “the correct and accurate attribution of news sources, whether primary or secondary” important.
The NewsTonight should have been more consistent and less selective in this regard. The interviewed students, like the other people interviewed, were also news sources after all. The code clearly mandates that all news sources be identified and be given proper attribution. [RuUa8u
It must be noted that no ethical violations of this kind could be discerned from reports on the same topic aired in channels 2 (TV Patrol World) and 7 (Saksi).
Recorded from IBC 13 (NewsTonight): 18, 2:27 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — FG by counsel

  1. Tonette | Part of Media 230 requirement, UP-CMC
    Unedited by blog administrator
    From Student 1 (Tonette):
    I would have to go against the decriminalization of libel. Simply becasue we need a check and balance in our media despite its noble role of being a watchdog, of guardian of democracy, etc. The laws, which may be at times used against the media itself, serve a purpose (not just a cloak that FG could envelope himself with). They at least keep the media within the boundaries of responsible journalism/reporting. Like a parent to his child, the laws keep the media practioners from erring, from abusing freedom, from abusing the liberties and rights of other people. And again, sometimes we do not like how our parents prevent us from too much partying, but we realize later that they’re doing their best to keep us from ruining our lives. Too much freedom for the media might just be something we do not wish to have, when lies, exaggerations, irresponsible reportage, partiality end up as norms in the media. We couldnt afford that. And besides even with libel laws threatening them, i dont worry too much, our courageous journalists will always find a way to go around them and not be silenced by any Goliath, like you-know-who.

Jan 17, 4:27 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — On decriminalizing libel: evening students’ views

  1. noemi

Views of Student (Noemi) 8
Unedited by the Blog Administrator
For purposes of fulfilling the requirements of
Media Ethics and Law (M230)
UP College of Mass Communication
Decriminalization of libelI am certainly in favor of decriminalizing libel with the possible substitution of a law that would endeavor to protect ordinary citizens against undue character defamation while at the same not serving as a tool to harass, intimidate or threaten legitimate journalists and other members of the mass media profession. It would also do well likewise, if such a substitution would not be practicable, to consider amending existing libel laws so as to impose strict and rigorous restrictions in the filing of libel cases against media personnel. Likewise, it may have helpful effects if libel laws will be amended or substituted to make it difficult for public personalities such as politicians, government officials, actors and actresses and other similar celebrities to indiscriminately file cases against media personnel.It seems today that libel is becoming a nuisance since anybody is filing libel to anyone. Prominent personalities also need to accept the fact that they are no longer private citizens and the price of fame and being a public figure would necessarily invite both positive and negative comments from the public and maybe expressed in the media. Since these personalities owe it to the public, it is only reasonable that the people know their actions. Unfortunately, journalists tend to become anxious and watchful to issues that are unquestionably needed to be released. Libel cases are impairing the exercise of freedom of speech and of the press.Jan 17, 7:27 AM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — On decriminalizing libel: evening students’ views

  1. Student # 5 Decriminalization of Libel Law
    By: Student #5
    Unedited by the Blog Administrator

For purposes of fulfilling the requirements of Media Ethics, UP College of Mass CommunicationI don’t strongly advocate decriminalization of libel law, but I think, it is worth a study, given the following considerations.When it comes to sensitivity to the media criticisms or opinions, which are not favorable to him, the First Gentleman is well-known. It can be recalled that he has recently filed libel cases to a number of journalists in our country. Well, with circumstances like this, it is perhaps an opportune time for us to ponder on its implications to press freedom. Maybe, it will consequently lead us to the idea of decriminalizing our libel law. As the press organizations, even in other countries, would claim, incarceration as a punishment for libel indeed renders a chilling effect on part of the media people.Personally, I would consider libel, being a criminal offense, as a threat to a free press. The fear of being imprisoned hampers our journalists from freely expressing their thoughts, opinions and ideas. The same way, it somehow prevents a free flow of ideas amongst the public. In effect, it diminishes the opportunity for our common people to participate in free debate through media.But of course, decriminalization of libel law does not mean forgetting about responsible journalism. It does not efface the principle that press freedom is not absolute. After all, those journalists who might abuse press freedom by irresponsibly filing their reports will still be punished under the civil law. They, still, cannot escape paying the damages that they may cause the other people. Besides, the damage to a journalist’s reputation brought by his irresponsible writings can actually make an impact as much as the effect of few years imprisonment (ideally speaking).Jan 17, 6:24 AM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — On the statement of the Inquirer publisher on the class action

  1. tet |

tried to re-post my first blog entry but no can do so let it remain a mystery to my classmates Jan 16, 4:50 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — parody

  1. tet | This is just a re-post of my first blog entry which made its way to Ma’am’s dashboard.

For the Course Media Law and Ethics (M230)
(Unedited by Blog Administrator)
By: Tet
Newsbreak is a publication which comes out fortnightly and it prides itself of being “the most credible news and current affairs magazine in the Philippines today.” Their funds mainly come from the Foundation for Independent and Responsible Media, which is supported by “people who believe in independent journalism.” Their main thrust is to provide “a better understanding of Philippine events” by featuring “in-depth stories, investigative reports, incisive analysis, as well as insider stuff that give a ringside view of the workings of people, politics, and power.” Their slogan is, “We make sense of the news.”
Considering that it is a relatively young publication which debuted only on January 24, 2001, they have managed to gain the respect of other prestigious publications both locally and internationally. They have also bagged a number of noteworthy recognitions from various respectable institutions here and abroad. However, despite their accomplishments, they have also come across a lot of challenges, one of which is the increasing libel lawsuits filed against them by prominent figures and public officials. One of these cases was filed by First Gentleman Mike Arroyo regarding an article entitled “More Properties?” published on Dec. 8, 2003 as part of their “Inside Track” section which is “an intelligencer of juicy political and business goings on.”
The said story cited that they gathered information that the Arroyos have “another real estate conduit” in California and that “at least five properties, outside San Francisco, are in the name of this alleged dummy.” It was a follow-up on their cover story regarding the undeclared properties of the Arroyos in San Francisco, California. Their sources were a prominent real-estate lawyer, a government official and the Office of the Secretary of State and the Department of Real Estate in California. The article also featured exact addresses and photos of the alleged Arroyo properties. According to them, these properties were supposedly given as gifts to the Arroyo’s “dummy,” which Newsbreak later on divulged as the nephew-in-law of the First Gentleman, by a man with an Israeli-sounding name and by a Filipino couple who were also into real estate, though they were not licensed real estate brokers.
Just recently, on December 14, 2006, Newsbreak issued a statement online regarding the Libel Suit of First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo versus Newsbreak. A day prior that, they received a tip that “the Manila prosecutor had issued a resolution” charging: Marites Danguilan Vitug, editor in chief, Glenda M. Gloria, managing editor, Ricky Carandang, former business editor, R.E. Otico, editorial consultant, Jose Dalisay, editorial consultant, and Booma Cruz, former contributing editor with libel in the case filed by First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. In the resolution prepared by Fredy Gomez, assistant city prosecutor of Manila dated Nov. 13, 2006, they were said to have “meant and intended to convey false and malicious insinuations” against First Gentleman Arroyo and that they “imputed… a crime…” and that their story was “highly libelous and offensive and derogatory to the good name, character and reputation…of the First Gentleman.” It also declared that the story was “solely prepared, written, and published by the accused for no other purpose than to impeach and besmirch” the First Gentleman. Finally, the resolution pointed out that Newsbreak’s intent was to “expose” Mr. Arroyo to “public hatred, contempt and ridicule…” because they were “clearly bent in destroying his reputation.”
Newsbreak’s reply to the said resolution was: “The article was very transparent: we said these were leads and that we pursued them and stated our findings. Our cover story on the Arroyos’ undeclared properties in San Francisco provides proper context to this follow-up article…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.”
My personal take on all these is that, Newsbreak’s article in question did possess certain “libelous” elements. Strongest of which is identification. Understandably, “the First Couple” are the Arroyos. The “dummy” would have been harder to identify if not for the photographs and exact addresses of the properties in question, apart from the fact that they revealed him to be the First Gentleman’s nephew-in-law later on. A little research would reveal who he is. On the other hand, who says Newsbreak cannot raise questions regarding the said properties when the subjects of the article are public figures, Mrs. Arroyo herself holding the highest position in the Philippine government. The donors, who could be considered as individuals who have the right to privacy were never divulged. An “Israeli-sounding name” or “Filipino couple” would not actually point to a specific individual, or couple, for that matter.
The article could also be considered as having some degree of “malice” considering that the title itself though packaged as a question translates more as a statement. Following it with the lead question (read: statement)–“ARE THE FIRST COUPLE’S properties in California limited to the apartment and commercial buildings in San Francisco that they had registered in the name of LTA Realty, from 1992 to the present?”–encourages, even pushes the readers to question the First Couple’s credibility and moral ascendancy. The positioning of the said texts one after the other was certainly not coincidental. It was deliberate. The function of the positioning of the texts was obviously inciting controversy. The use of the words “suspicious,” “ incredulous” (even if it was really the word spoken by one of their sources) and “dubious” carry much baggage and could really be taken as statements utterly possessing a certain degree of “ridicule” and “contempt.” But then again, the matters in question are of public interest. These are issues significant to the Filipino people. This is the very reason government officials and employees are required to submit sworn Statements of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) annually–so that the voting public will know that the officials they have put in power (given that, in actuality, they played the field clean) are living according to their means or they are in fact enjoying lives that are much more luxurious than they could afford. When President Macapagal-Arroyo ran for office, she (together with her family) has given up that right to be free of scrutiny, either by the public or the media. The statements made by Newsbreak, therefore, are privileged communication empowered by the fact that they are matters of public concern.
The most given element of libel present in the case at hand undoubtedly is publication. Yet, as I have stated, the “questionable properties” are matters of public concern and are therefore worthy of publication. Not to mention that, Newsbreak as it has boldly stated in their profile aspires “to become the most compelling and authoritative read in the news magazine market.” Such material should be expected from them.
Most importantly, the article was based on actual facts, their data were obtained and gathered from and through reliable sources, it was well-researched and to top it all, verified prior to its publication. It was not written in haste and Newsbreak cannot be accused of being irresponsible because the data they published were based on truth.
I, therefore, stand by Newsbreak’s statement that their story was not libelous. I would like to reiterate and emphasize that the subjects of the article are public figures, and just like any other public official (and they are not JUST like any other public officials, they’re the first couple for crying out loud!), their lives, more significantly their assets and liabilities (in any form) are subject to public scrutiny, and the media has the right to inform the public about these things. They First Couple should be transparent in declaring their financial status. Moreover, they should have the moral obligation to obtain properties based on legal terms.
The NEWSBREAK Story retrieved from:
Born on the Wings of Revolt by Glenda M. Gloria retrieved from: Synergy Thing by Marites Dañguilan Vitug retrieved from: On the Libel Suit of First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo versus Newsbreak
Newsbreak Online, December 14, 2006 retrieved from:
NEWSBREAK’S LIBEL CASES by Marites Danguilan-Vitug retrieved from:
Details of the Cases retrieved from:
More Properties?
(From Newsbreak, December 8, 2003) retrieved from:
San Francisco: The Arroyos’ Favorite City
(From Newsbreak, November 10, 2003) retrieved from:
(December 8, 1930) retrieved from:
chanrobles virtual law library
Jan 16, 4:47 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — parody

  1. tet |

My opinion on the Decriminalization of Libel
For the Course Media Law and Ethics (M230)
(Unedited by Blog Administrator)
By: Tet
I am for upholding freedom of expression, most specifically press freedom. On the other hand, freedom of expression, just like any form of freedom is not absolute. One’s freedom ends where another’s begin. Therefore, this freedom comes with responsibility…and part of that responsibility is facing the consequences of one’s action.
Edward Bulwer-Lytton once said that, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” There is power in words. Simply put, a single news article could make or break one’s person. It could ruin one’s reputation and credibility. It could jeopardize one’s livelihood. It could destroy a person’s life. If a journalist causes this degree of devastation because of mere irresponsible and biased reportage, let there be retribution for the aggrieved party.
Therefore, I do not support the decriminalization of the libel law. It is a double-edged sword. Though it will be good news for the media practitioners, it will endanger the reputation of a lot of people, both private individuals and public figures.
After all, we should be reminded that mass media is an industry. Just like in any other industry, there are interests that are advocated and protected herein. And most of the time, if not all, these are the interests of those who are in power in these organizations, thus, the owners and investors. Their interests do not always coincide with the public’s interests–whose interest they should be serving, in the first place.
Moreover, there is also the issue on the proliferation of incompetent journalists–silang mga pinabili lang ng suka e naging “journalist” na. These “journalists” are still out there. What with our compadre culture and nepotism in mass media? These “journalists” have always been there, they always will be.
Though it is true that there are a lot of public figures and government officials who file libel suits incessantly even towards responsible journalists, decriminalizing the libel law will not solve anything. Whatever is libelous is relative. That is why First Gentleman Mike Arroyo has filed 43 libel cases because he cannot take it that his person has been “maligned” and his reputation “destroyed” by the journalists in question. He has the right to file cases if that’s how he views the articles written “against” him. It is up to the journalists to prove him wrong and redeem themselves from such lawsuits. If they have been responsible journalists, their interests will always be protected by the Constitution. There have been precedent cases which will support their contentions. Aside from the prospect of redemption, they will emerge from this predicament with dignity.
Leaving the way things are in the libel law arena will maintain both the journalist’s and the individual’s interests under the protection of the law.
Jan 16, 4:45 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — parody

  1. Roma Agsalud

Continuation of references:“Hustler Magazine v Falwell” (1988)485 US 46, 99 L ED 2d 41, 108 S Ct 876.Jan 16, 4:25 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — space for my evening class

  1. Roma Agsalud | EPEKTO NG TAKOT
    Ma. Roma C. Agsalud
    Unedited by Blog Administrator
    January 16, 2007
    For the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of Media Ethics and Law
    UP College of Mass Communication
    Before arguing in favor of decriminalization of libel, first, it is imperative that we define what decriminalization is. Decriminalization of libel means that libel will only be punishable with a fine and not with imprisonment. According to Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. who authored the decriminalization bill, such move will shield journalists from the risk of being sent to prison.WHY IS IT IMPORTANT THAT THE PRESS BE FREE FROM FEAR OF IMPRISONMENT BROUGHT ABOUT BY LIBEL SUITS?According to Harry Roque, International law professor of the University of the Philippines who drafted the complaint filed by the press against Mike Arroyo, libel cases have several damaging effects to press freedom. These effects include:1. harassment of those charged
    2. undue and illegal restraint of media and information
    3. the chilling effect on media in general
    4. violation of civil rights
    5. the abuse of rights affecting media personalities and media as an institution
    6. other pecuniary or irreparable damages
    IYAN ANG EPEKTO NG TAKOT!Existence of such a disguised-control over media through libel suits that threaten the press with imprisonment is detrimental to the effective functioning of a democracy.Remember, one of democracy’s critical agencies is A FREE press and the press cannot perform its function in an environment filled with fear of being hauled to court everytime a individual finds their opinions or comments derogatory. As was stated in FCC v Pacifica Foundation case, “The fact that society may find speech offensive is not sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker’s opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it constitutional protection.”Imposition of the fear of imprisonment through libel cases is a form of media suppression, repression, and harassment.As was stated by Pimentel, “we are pushing for the passage of this bill to do away with a situation where libel law is being used, especially by people in authority, to stifle freedom of expression.”For press to function effectively, it needs to be free. Press freedom is only achieved in a society composed of individuals unafraid to speak their minds. By decriminalizing libel…
    References:Lee, Nathan. “Journalists fight back: The press vs Mike Arroyo” in PJR Reports, December 2006, pg 12.“Senator Pushes decriminalization of libel” inJan 16, 4:20 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — space for my evening class
  2. Roma Agsalud | MASAKIT, GANON TALAGA!
    Ma. Roma C. Agsalud
    Unedited by Blog Administrator
    January 16, 2007

For the purposes of fulfilling the requirements of Media Ethics and Law
UP College of Mass Communication
In my opinion, the libel case filed by First Gentleman Mike Arroyo against:a. JP Lopez (reporter)
b. Regina Bengco (reporter)
c. Amado Macasaet (publisher)
d. Enrique Romualdez (executive director)
e. Joy De Los Reyes (editor-in-chief)
f. Ma. Teresa Molina (managing editor)
g. Mimie Advincula (news editor)
h. Ellen Tordesillas (chief of reporters)
of Malaya for the May 19, 2004 article entitled, “Poe’s Camp says Mike is Chief Cheating Operator” will be very hard to defend based on similar precedents that have ruled in favor of the press. In Tordesilla’s blog, she quoted Mike Arroyo’s complaint against the article.In his complaint, Arroyo said the “insinuations and imputation the said accused well knew were false and without foundation whatsoever highly libelous and offensive and derogatory to the good name, character and reputation of Jose Miguel Arroyo , and that said article in the Malaya newspaper was solely written, published and exhibited by the said accused for no other purpose than to malign complainant’s integrity, good name and character as in fact he was so exposed to public hatred, dishonor, discredit, contempt and ridicule.” His complaint’s main argument is that the article is INDEED, MALICIOUS. In general libel cases, every defamation or imputation is presumed malicious and is actionable. However, in cases where statements are considered privileged communication, as in this case, presumption of malice is removed. The article is considered privileged for a number of reasons.1. Since it involves the press and the concept of privileged communication is implicit in the freedom of the press. This argument has been upheld in cases such as Elizalde v. Gutierrez and Santos v. Court of Appeals. 2. Being the First Gentleman, he becomes a public figure and any discreditable imputation to him as a public person in his public capacity is not necessarily actionable as in the cases of the New York Times v Sullivan and Ayers Production Pty. Ltd. V Capulong. 3. Even if Mike Arroyo argues that he is not a public figure, the article still qualifies as privileged communication since it tackled issues of allegedly massive election cheating operations during the previous presidential elections. This topic is of national interest and therefore, privileged.For Arroyo’s case to prosper, it needs to PROVE that the article was malicious. To prove that it was made with reckless disregard for truth, then it would have to show that there was already an established fact regarding the past presidential elections that was deliberately ignored by the author. However, we all know that the Hello Garci Controversy was never resolved and that the only statement we got from our President is “I am sorry.” To show that it was malicious, the author must know that the statements were false but decided to proceeding with the article. Again, unless the truth is revealed, no one would really know which statements are false. In addition, it would be very difficult for Arroyo to show that the defendants wrote, published, and exhibited the article for the sole purpose of maligning his integrity since the article was made without comment from the author and was simply informing the public of the opinions of the opposition. Every paragraph of the article started with “____said” and every paragraph was quoted from a statement made by someone that was not anonymous and was, in fact, properly identified.Having to endure public ridicule and criticism is part of a public figure’s life and is something that he/she must accept as part of his role in society. Arroyo who is complaining about how the article has maligned his integrity and good reputation has no other choice but to endure it, unless he is really able to present concrete proof that it was made with ill will.
To end my entry, let me quote the famous words of Mr. Justice Malcolm in US v Bustos,
“The interest of society and the maintenance of good governance demand a full discussion of public affairs. Complete liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is a scalpel in the case of free speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves the abscesses of officialdom. Men in public life may suffer under a hostile and unjust accusation; the wound may assuaged by the balm of a clear conscience. A public official must not be too thin-skinned with reference to comments upon his official acts.”References:Tordesillas, Ellen. Making Life Worth Living, “Updates on Mike Arroyo’s libel case” in posted on October 16, 2006 at 11:45 pm.Supreme Court Reports Annotated Vol 301, January 14, 1999, pg. 5, 7, 22Jan 16, 3:27 PM — [ Edit | Delete | Unapprove | Approve | Spam ] — space for my evening class

This entry was posted by chattel.

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