"Here is the letter in full."
Before the month of November ended, my opinion editor, Adelle Chua, forwarded to me a letter sent to our office by former Department of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Philip Camara. He was questioning the content of my column published in the Manila Standard Sept. 22, 2018. His name was mentioned in the piece.
The article, however, was not about him. It was about former DENR Secretary Gina Lopez. If ever his name was mentioned, it had something to do with his appointment as DENR undersecretary despite alleged lack of civil service requirements.
Camara was also mentioned in the article as questions were raised on the alleged connection of Lopez to Biochar, a firm wherein he supposedly, was president.
Citing sources, the article made mention of an alleged hefty contract awarded by Lopez to Biochar.
While Mr. Camara described the article as full of lies and baseless allegations, he did not specify what exactly was wrong in the 845-word article.
That particular article, was based, aside from sources, on formal complaint filed against Lopez, protestations from DENR employees and statements from those who opposed her appointment before the Commission on Appointment.
If only Mr. Camara can be more specific and tell me what my excesses are, I would willingly correct my article and even apologize publicly.
Even then, I am extending my sincere apologies to Mr. Camara for the inconveniences my Sept. 22 column might have caused him. I really only wish he would tell me exactly what items in the said article were “pure lies and baseless allegations.”
I really hope to hear from Mr. Camara soon.
I will now, with the indulgence of my editors, dedicate the rest of this space to his letter, addressed to Mr. Ramonchito Tomeldan, managing editor of this newspaper.
“I strongly demand an apology caused by malicious article written and posted by your Charlie V. Manalo in the Manila Standard.net last 22 September 2018 entitled, “Shooting from her glasshouse,” which can be seen in the following link, http://manilastandard.net/mobile/article/276127.
This said article contains pure lies and baseless allegations, damaging my business reputation.
‘‘I want you to print a retraction within 20 days from receipt of this letter, or I will be forced to file a libel case against you and Mr. Manalo.’’