Cusi, Uy sue newsmen over Malampaya reports
Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi and Davao businessman Dennis Uy filed separate complaints for libel and cyberlibel against several media outfits for reporting “libelous and false statements” on their involvement in the controversial Malampaya deal.
Cusi’s lawyer Ruy Rondain confirmed in a phone interview that both Cusi and Uy filed the cases on Nov. 29. Cusi filed his complaints in Taguig City while Uy filed the cases in Davao City.
News agencies that were slapped with libel charges were ABS-CBN Corp., Business World Publishing Corp., Rappler Inc., Philstar Global Corp., Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp., GMA New Media Inc. and Philippine Business Daily Mirror Publishing Inc.
Reporters and editors who were named respondents in the complaints were Carlo Katigbak and Lynda Jumilla of ABS-CBN; Maria Ressa, Aika Rey, Glenda Gloria and Chay Hofileña of Rappler; Camille Diola, Rhodina Villanueva and Ian Nicolas Cigaral of Philstar; Herminio Coloma Jr., Loreto Cabañes, and Jel Santos of Manila Bulletin; Jaemark Tordecilla and Ted Cordero of GMA News Online; and Samuel Medenilla, Lenie Lectura and Lourdes Fernandez of Business Mirror.
Uy also filed counts of libel and cyberlibel against the following: Business World’s Wilfredo Reyes and Bianca Angelica Añago; Anjo Bagaoisan of ABS-CBN; Benjamin Ramos of Business Mirror; and Rodel Rodis, a private citizen.
Based on documents provided to journalists, the defendants allegedly reported “with malice” the graft complaint filed by Balgamel de Belen Domingo, Loida Nicolas-Lewis and Rodis before the Ombudsman against Cusi, Uy and several others.
Cusi asked that the news organizations, as well as the identified media personnel, pay P200 million in damages for damaging his “reputation and good standing in government.”
The respondents alleged that Cusi, along with other respondents, conspired to favor Uy’s Udenna Corp. in the sale of Chevron’s share and transfer of rights in the Malampaya project.
They added that the supposed irregularities resulted in “a minimum of over P21 (billion) to P42 billion in total losses to the government.”
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