Iloilo City

Iloilo officials back 4 radio commentators accused of libel by DepEd director

Erwin Delilan

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Iloilo officials back 4 radio commentators accused of libel by DepEd director


Iloilo's congresswoman, mayor, vice mayor, and a councilor frown on DepEd-Western Visayas Director Ramir Uytico's libel complaints against Radio Mindanao Network's commentators

BACOLOD, Philippines – Iloilo politicians threw their support behind four radio commentators who were accused of libel and other crimes by the director of the Department of Education (DepEd) in Western Visayas.

Iloilo City Representative Julienne Baronda, Mayor Jerry Treñas, and Vice Mayor Jeffrey Ganzon separately voiced their support for Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) program hosts and commentators Henry Lumawag, Novie Guazo, Regan Arlos, and Vincent Israel “Don” Dolido, on Wednesday, February 21.

Councilor Ely Estante, a former Bombo Radyo anchorman, also backed his former colleagues during a radio interview on RMN-Iloilo’s Targetanay sa Udto.

The Iloilo officials said they disapproved of DepEd-Western Visayas Director Ramir Uytico’s legal actions against the four media workers.

“As the Fourth Estate, the media enjoys the same stature as the executive, judiciary, and legislative [branches of government]. Its watchdog function keeps our democracy alive,” said Baronda.

She said Uytico’s libel complaints against the radio commentators were “a tragic accident between two entities that ought to be cooperating partners in development.”

Treñas, who said he was not spared of criticisms from the same radio station, pointed out that public scrutiny comes with the work of people in government. 

“As a public servant myself, I understand that our actions should stand the scrutiny of everyone, including the members of the media. That is their job. I always take it in stride,” said Treñas, adding that it was because of this that he never sued media workers for libel.

Ganzon, for his part, appealed to public officials to respect people’s right to information and defend press freedom at all costs.

He said he was bothered by the filing of several libel complaints against the radio commentators because he considered the media as “the conscience of our society essential for our democracy to thrive.”

Estante, a radio commentator turned politician, said Uytico should consider resigning if he did not want to be subjected to media criticisms.

Uytico has filed complaints for libel, cyber libel, and violation of the Safe Spaces Act and Data Privacy Act against the media workers before the Office of the City Prosecutor in Iloilo City in late January. He has since avoided media interviews.

But in his complaints, Uytico said he felt bad about how he was criticized by the four respondents on issues about a school superintendent, principals, and teachers, among others, during their radio programs late last year.

The commentators, according to Uytico, uttered offensive words that maligned, demeaned, and damaged his person, character, and honor. Specifically, he said he was called agiii (gay), tikoh (crooked), and wafa-wafa (beautiful woman).

Lumawag, the host of RMN-Iloilo’s Palabra de Honor program, filed his counter-affidavit before Prosecutor Noel Siosan Jr. on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Guazon and Arlos of RMN’s Straight to the Point program, and Dolido of Targetanay sa Udto are scheduled to submit theirs to prosecutors Kareen de la Cruz and Gladys Pearl Palabrica, respectively, on Friday, February 23. –

1 comment

Sort by
  1. ET

    While it is true that public officials should “respect people’s right to information and defend press freedom,” the use of “offensive words that maligned, demeaned, and damaged one’s person, character, and honor” should also be looked into. The People’s right to information and the Freedom of the Press should be respected, but such right and freedom should be limited, too. We had the case of how SMNI abused such a right and freedom. Hence, we should be wary of similar situations.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!