Drilon critic sentenced to up to 4 years in prison for libel
ILOILO CITY — A fierce critic of Sen. Franklin Drilon who accused him of graft has been convicted of libel and sentenced to imprisonment of up to four years and two months.
Former Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel “Boy” Mejorada was found “guilty beyond reasonable doubt” by the Pasay City Regional Trial Court Branch 118.
In a 33-page decision dated Feb. 1 and released on Feb. 20, Judge Rowena Nieves Tan found Mejorada guilty of four counts of libel in relation to his social media and blog posts accusing Drilon of involvement in alleged irregularities in infrastructure projects in Iloilo.
The projects include the Iloilo Circumferential Road in Barangay Ungka in Pavia town, the Iloilo Convention Center and the Guimaras Iloilo Ferry Terminal project.
Tan meted Mejorada a jail term from a minimum of two years, four months and one day to a maximum of four years and two months.
Mejorada said his lawyer would file a motion for reconsideration.
“I thank everybody for your prayers. I know that in the eyes of God, and the people, what I did was for the truth and justice,” Mejorada said in a Facebook post.
“Please continue to pray for me as I face this most difficult challenge in my whole life. I thank those who stood by me through thick and thin. I am confident that we can navigate these turbulent times and the truth will be our vindication. As I said last night, I pray for Senator Franklin Drilon. May he be enlightened and make amends to the people. To quote Senator Ping Lacson, a plunderer is a worse criminal than a murderer,” Mejorada said. SFM