2 Camarines Norte journos jailed for six hours over cyber libel case — NUJP | Inquirer News
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2 Camarines Norte journos jailed for six hours over cyber libel case — NUJP

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 07:10 AM November 11, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — Two journalists in Camarines Norte were imprisoned for six hours on Tuesday after they were arrested over the cyber libel case filed against them by Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said.

In a Facebook post, NUJP identified the journalists as Virgilio “Bagwis” Avila Jr., a broadcaster at local radio station in Daet, 98.5 OK-FM Daet,  and Mia Concordia who is a news anchor at local media Dateline Camarines Norte.

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[Alert] Journalists in Camarines Norte arrested over cyber libel rapsCamarines Norte journalists Virgilio “Bagwis”…

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Posted by National Union of Journalists of the Philippines on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

NUJP said Avila was the first to be detained after police served an arrest warrant issued by Judge Ivan Dizon of the Regional Trial Court Branch 40 over the cyber libel case. He was staying at the Daet police custodial facility.

Meanwhile, Concordia was visiting his colleague, Avila, when she was jailed over the cyberlibel complaints.

Deo Trinidad, another journalist in the cyber libel complaint, was not detained after he surrendered himself to the Regional Trial Court Branch 40 and posted a bail of P20,000.

Under the arrest warrant, the three journalists faced four counts of cyber libel with bail set for P80,000, NUJP said.

But the court ruled that cyber libel charges against Trinidad and Concordia were reduced to one count. Avila still faced four counts of libel.

Camarines Sur police Colonel Marlon Tejada confirmed the arrest and detention of the two media personnel.

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In a separate message to INQUIRER.net, Concordia said she posted P20,000 bail for one count of cyber libel.

Concordia explained that their bail was reduced after their three other cyber libel cases were dismissed by the court.

In another message, Avila said he paid P320,000 bail for each count of cyber libel.

He also lamented that the judge issued an arrest warrant despite their pending petition at the Department of Justice.

“I have four counts of cyber libel cases filed by Tallado with recommended bail of 320,000 php. The judge issued the arrest order despite the fact my lawyer filed petition for review before DOJ [Department of Justice] Manila. Prior to this , I was arrested together with 5 other journalists for a revived cases of libel which were filed by politicians allied with Tallado,” he said.

NUJP said the cases stemmed from the journalists’ social media posts on their personal Facebook accounts which criticized the provincial government’s reported negligence in its pandemic response.

Worth the risk

Concordia remained strong in her convictions despite her detention. She said it would be embarrassing for a media practitioner to refuse to report the real-time updates in their province.

Oh… Ito ha para malinaw, yes nakulong kami for several hour on cyberlibel case filed by ginoong Tallado. Actually 4…

Posted by Mia Concordia on Tuesday, November 10, 2020

“Ngayon, ano naman kung nakulong kami? It is the risk we take sa pag talakay ng mga isyu sa lalawigan.  Mas nakakahiya naman yong media ka pero [hindi] mo matalakay ang isyu at totoong nangyayari sa CN [Camarines Norte] dahil barker ka ng isang politiko di ba?” Concordia said in another Facebook post.

(So what if we were detained? It is a risk that we take to tackle the issues in the province.It is more embarrassing if you as a media personnel can’t tackle an issue and discuss the true events in the province.)

This arrest comes after a journalist in Villasis, Pangasinan was shot dead.

EDV

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TAGS: arrest, Camarines Norte, Daet, detention, Regions
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