VP Binay wins libel case vs former vice mayor
MANILA, Philippines – A former Makati vice mayor lost a libel suit filed by then-mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In a statement, the city of Makati said former Makati Vice Mayor Roberto Brillante was found guilty of libel against Binay, and was ordered to pay over half a million pesos in damages (US$11,487).*
Back in 2006, Brillante said in a press statement that Binay bribed 3 Sandiganbayan justices to win a graft case. Binay struck back and sued for libel.
Judge Selma Palacio Alaras of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 62 said in a decision dated June 30, that Brillante “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously” released a statement that resulted in Binay's “dishonor, discredit and public contempt.”
According to the statement, Brillante said in a radio program and press conference that the anti-graft court dismissed a case against former Makati mayor Elenita S. Binay and 9 others because of “lobby money.”
Elenita Binay is the wife of the Vice President. Their son, Junjun Binay, is currently the mayor of Makati.
Brillante told the RTC he had acted in “good faith” but Judge Alaras said he failed to do this when he did not “substantiate or even attempt to verify his story before publication.”
The court added Brillante showed malice – one of the elements in a libel case – after he “made such remarks with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard as to the truth or falsity thereof.” – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com
*(US$1 = P43.5)