Roque files counter-affidavit vs Trillanes' libel complaints

Roque files counter-affidavit vs Trillanes’ libel complaints

By: - Reporter / @FArgosinoINQ
/ 08:12 PM June 23, 2024

Roque files counter-affidavit vs Trillanes' cyberlibel complaint

Harry Roque (R) and Antonio Trillanes IV | File photos

MANILA, Philippines — Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque has appealed to the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office to dismiss the cyber libel and libel complaint filed by former senator Antonio Trillanes IV against him, citing “lack of probable cause.”

Roque likewise filed “graft and misconduct in office” charges against the former senator “for betraying the public trust over his 2012 high-stakes backchannel negotiations with Chinese officials.”

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READ: ‘Bring it on!’ Roque says after Trillanes filed libel, cyberlibel raps

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“As a public figure, Trillanes should not have been onion-skinned in reacting to my criticisms of his conduct in his backchannel mission to China,” Roque said, pointing out that his remarks against the former legislator “are fair” and “qualify as privileged communication.”

“My livestream discusses matters of public interest, such as sovereignty and sovereign rights, that deserve utmost discussion and should be insulated from libel judgment,” he added.

Last month, Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV filed libel and cyberlibel cases against “pro-Duterte” personalities and social media account holders due to “persistent online attacks and the dissemination of false accusations.”

The separate complaints for libel and cyber libel were filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against Roque, Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI) hosts and executives, and vlogger Byron Cristobal, also known as Banat By.

READ: Trillanes files libel, cyberlibel raps against Duterte supporters

Trillanes filed the complaint against Roque and Banat By for alleging that he sold and gave away the Scarborough Shoal to China during his backchannel talks in 2012.

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A separate complaint was also filed against a certain Guillermina Barrido and SMNI hosts and executives for airing an interview in which Barrido “repeatedly alleged” the former senator was trying to persuade her and allegedly paid her to be a fake witness against then-President Rodrigo Duterte.

He also filed criminal complaints against a number of social media account owners.

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In response to this, Roque earlier called Trillanes “an enemy of freedom of expression.”

TAGS: Antonio Trillanes IV, cyberlibel, Harry Roque

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