MANILA, Philippines – Three block-time radio commentators from Quezon were arrested on Tuesday, February 6, over "multiple" libel charges filed by House Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, according to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
In a Facebook post, NUJP said radio journalists Gemi Formaran, Johnny Glorioso, and Rico Catampungan posted bail after they were arrested by Tayabas City police.
Judge Jures Callanta of Quezon Regional Trial Court Branch 8 issued the warrant last December 21.
According to the NUJP, one of the journalists described the libel cases against them as “harassment.”
"Itinanong lang naman namin kung saan na napunta ang P70 million na PDAF ni Congressman Danilo Suarez," Formaran, a People's Journal correspondent, was quoted as saying. (We only asked where Congressman Danilo Suarez's P70-million PDAF went.)
Formaran was referring to the Priority Development Assistance Fund, which the Commission on Audit said were misused by a number of lawmakers for several years. The fund was eventually declared as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
The NUJP noted that Suarez is the father of Quezon Governor David Suarez.
Aside from the older Suarez, the NUJP said, Governor Suarez, his mother and former Quezon 3rd District Representative Aleta Suarez, and one of his staff also filed a series of libel cases against the radio commentators. – Rappler.com