The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) welcomes reports that
broadcaster Jun Digamon has finally been cleared of libel charges after a seven
year legal battle against a former local TV celebrity.
According to the National Union of Journalists
of the Philippines (NUJP),
an IFJ affiliate, a Regional Trial Court Branch 17 judge found last week that
there was no evidence of libel in Digamon’s reporting and commentary for Radyo
Bombo over an alleged affair between celebrity Jeanette Lomanta and Davao congressman
Nograles and Lomanta sued several reporters, including
Digamon and fellow Radyo Bombo journalist Alex Adonis.
In April 2007 Adonis, 43, was sentenced to four years’ jail after
not being able to afford to defend himself against the libel charge.
“We welcome Digamon’s acquittal and repeat that there is no place for criminal
libel in the Philippines,”
IFJ Asia-Pacific Director Jacqueline
“Journalists have a duty to report on all issues in the
public interest. While today we applaud the decision to clear Digamon of
criminal charges, we remember that Adonis is in jail merely for doing his job.”
The IFJ joins the NUJP
in issuing an urgent plea to the Philippines government to abolish
the draconian libel laws so that all journalists can continue with their
information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
represents over 600,000 journalists in
120 countries worldwide