Drilon accuser convicted of libel, again | Inquirer News

Drilon accuser convicted of libel, again

/ 08:18 PM February 03, 2021

ILOILO CITY—A former provincial administrator of Iloilo, already facing arrest for a libel conviction, has again been convicted of libel by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

In a 28-page decision on Jan. 25, Judge Wilhelmina Jorge-Wagan, of the Pasay RTC, ruled Manuel “Boy” Mejorada, former Iloilo provincial administrator, as guilty of four counts of online libel for Facebook posts that accused Sen. Franklin Drilon of corruption in infrastructure projects in the province, including the Iloilo Convention Center and several road projects.

Wagan sentenced Mejorada to a prison term of at least two years and five months to a maximum of four years and five months.


In a separate order on Jan. 27, Wagan issued a warrant of arrest for Mejorada.


Wagan, in her ruling, said Mejorada’s criminal complaint against Drilon and several others for alleged corruption and malversation had been dismissed in 2015 by the Ombudsman.

But, Wagan’s ruling said, “Mejorada did not pause to recalculate his options after his complaint was dismissed.” Instead, the ruling added, Merjorada “relentlessly went on public reiterating the same accusations of corruption and defaming the private complainant.”

“Such is a clear indication of his intent to malign,” the judge’s ruling said.

Mejorada can still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.

But the high court on Sept. 2, 2019 ruled with finality in affirming a 2017 Court of Appeals decision which upheld Mejorada’s conviction for libel also by the Pasay RTC in another case filed by Drilon.

The Pasay City RTC had found Mejorada guilty of four counts of libel in relation to his social media posts and blogs that accused Drilon of involvement in irregularities in infrastructure projects in Iloilo.


The court sentenced Mejorada to a jail term of at least two years, four months and one day to a maximum of four years and two months.

The Supreme Court had said in its ruling that no further pleadings will be entertained by the high court and ordered the issuance of an entry of final judgment on the case.

Mejorada has not replied to requests for comment from the INQUIRER.

In an earlier statement, he said he will “bravely face” the consequences of his criticisms against Drilon.

“If imprisonment would be the price for courageously exposing the truth, I have prepared myself and my family to accept my fate,” he said in a statement issued after the Supreme Court ruling.

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Mejorada is also facing separate libel cases filed by former Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor.

TAGS: blogs, Drilon, Facebook, Iloilo, Mejorada, online libel, Pasay RTC, Regions, Social Media, Supreme Court

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