Walden Bello files counter-affidavit on cyberlibel case
MANILA, Philippines — Vice presidential candidate Walden Bello filed Wednesday his counter-affidavit to a cyber libel complaint filed against him by Jefry Tupas, a former information officer of the Davao City government.
Bello filed his counter-affidavit before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Davao City. He was accompanied by his lead counsel, Atty. Luke Espiritu, who is also part of the senatorial slate of the Partido Lakas ng Masa.
“We’re going all the way in the defense of Walden, as his case is emblematic of the wider repression of dissent by the state,” Espiritu said in a statement.
Bello and Espiritu condemned the filing of the cyber libel complaint, calling it politically motivated, frivolous, and inconsistent with the facts.
“The way Sara Duterte has reacted to our challenge for a debate—declaring me persona non grata in Davao, filing cyber libel charges, calling me a narco politician—is a preview of how she will address issues if she were to win the election, not by rational discussion but by mechanisms of character assassination and other underhanded methods. Magpakita ka sa debate (Show up in debates), talawan Sara!” said Bello.
Tupas earlier filed a cyber libel complaint against Bello for the latter’s “utterly false” statements that Tupas was “nabbed at a beach party” where he and his friends “were snorting P1.5 million worth of drugs” in November 2021.
To recall, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio said last year that Tupas resigned and was fired on the same day after he attended a birthday party where authorities seized about P1.5 million worth of illegal drugs and arrested 17 people during a raid.
Tupas, at that time, admitted that he was at the beach party because he was invited to the event, but that he left after dinner.
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