Bulacan paper publisher held, detained for 2012 libel rap

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CITY OF MALOLOS—A community newspaper publisher was arrested and detained here on Wednesday on a charge of libel over stories about alleged fund anomalies in the Bulacan Medical Center (BMC) that implicated Bulacan Rep. Joselito Mendoza and the hospital’s former director.

Rene Acosta, 47, publisher of the weekly Media Eye, was arrested based on a warrant issued by Judge Grace Ruiz of the Bulacan Regional Trial Court on Dec. 28, 2012.

The charge stemmed from two stories written by Acosta in 2011, which claimed that Dr. Hjordis Marushka Celis-Mendoza and Joselito accepted kickbacks from construction work and supplies bought for the BMC. Joselito was Bulacan governor from 2007 to 2010.

Joselito also said Acosta “exposed him to public hatred and ridicule” for the April 28, 2011 post the publisher made on his Facebook account.

The Bulacan prosecutor’s office filed the case in the RTC on May 26, 2012.

Acosta said he was not formally informed by authorities that the complaint had been transmitted to the court. Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Inquirer Central Luzon

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