This is a 7-months old article, and I came acrossed this thread when I was searching a topic on Media.
Mike Enriquez indicted for libel
MANILA STANDARD - Oct. 15, 2004
TV-radio broadcaster Mike Enriquez and four others have been indicted for libel for allegedly portraying the Barbers brothers from Surigao del Norte as “corrupt and irresponsible government officials.”
The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office in a resolution dated Oct. 5 and signed by Prosecutors Rowena de Juan-Quinagoran and Aurora Hernandez-Calledo stated that the crime of libel was committed “since it is plainly evident that their act is tainted with malice, an important ingredient in libel.”
Enriquez’ co-accused are Cruz Yuipco, Manuel Kong, Maritone Segovia and Jaileen Jimeno, who had a hand in the airing of an episode of Enriquez’ TV program “Imbestigador” last March 20 entitled “Pera Palit Bato.”
Surigao del Norte Rep. Robert Ace Barbers and his brother Gov. Robert Lyndon Barbers — denounced the TV show for depicting them as corrupt and irresponsible government officials who diverted government funds from legitimate projects to their own pockets to the prejudice of their constituents.
Together with their father former senator Robert Barbers, the brothers said they were accused of being berdugos (executioners) and being absentee leaders thereby neglecting the needs of their constituents, forcing the latter to live as destitutes and sell their kidneys in exchange for money.
The prosecutors recommended bail of P10,000 each for Enriquez et al.
The resolution stated that all imputations made in the program were all baseless, preposterous, fabricated and utterly malicious. “Enriquez and the other accused failed to show that they exerted efforts to ferret out the truth in the interest of a fair and true report which they owned to their viewers.”
The prosecutors noted that “there was no evidence presented by Enriquez to show that his team gathered evidence to find out if what they will report is true and correct.” Thus “the presumption of malice has not been rebutted.”
Barbers, the congressman, said he is happy with the resolution and expressed confidence that “the courts will uphold the finding of the prosecutors and will decide in their favor.”
He cautioned Enriquez not to hide behind the cloak of press freedom for it will not protect him as the same applies to those who practice the tenets of responsible journalism.
“Mr. Enriquez is not fit to be a journalist as his consistent abuse of the privilege brings disgrace to the profession and its otherwise responsible practitioners,” Barbers said. He reminded Enriquez of the time honored principle that freedom is absolute but like other rights, press freedom has limitations.
He said press freedom may be used only to the extent that its use will not cause injury to another, nor can it be used as an instrument of injustice. Romie A. Evangelista
Basing on the date of the resolution and on the date of the article, this actually happened when 24 Oras started to gain its lead against TV Patrol. Quite ironic if you'll ask me.