Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea filed on Tuesday four more libel cases against Special Envoy for Public Diplomacy to China and journalist Ramon Tulfo.
Two counts of libel and another two counts of cyberlibel were filed by Medialdea before the Manila Prosecutors Office.
Cited as Tulfo’s co-respondents are Manila Times president Dante Ang, chief operating officer Blanca Mercado, publisher-editor Nerilyn Tenorio, and news editor Leena Chua.
The complaints stemmed from Tulfo’s July 20 column piece “There goes Cayetano as House speaker; also Medialdea” and July 23 piece titled “You will have your karma, Bingbong Medialdea,” according to the copies of charges obtained by reporters.
Published in The Manila Times, the July 20 column alleged that the executive secretary issued a memorandum circular to the Philippine Southeast Asian Organizing Committee which used to be headed by House Speaker Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano despite its supposed “questionable multi-million-peso program.”
The opinion piece also claimed Medialdea issued a memorandum ordering government agencies to support Phisgoc without the knowledge of President Rodrigo Duterte.
In his column published July 23, Tulfo accused Medialdea of “using the power” of his office to “harass journalists who are doing their job of exposing the ills of society and government.”
Tulfo’s column pieces were published in the Times publication and its website.
Medialdea denied the allegations in both articles and demanded P80 million in moral damages and P60 million in exemplary damages.
“I take my duties as the Executive Secretary of the Republic of the Philippines very seriously. I am not remiss in the performance of my duties,” Medialdea said in his complaint.
The “unfounded, baseless, and malicious allegations gravely injured” his reputation, he added.
The Executive Secretary earlier filed a libel complaint against Tulfo over his column piece titled “Self-purgation should start with the Cabinet,” which appeared in the Manila Times on July 25 issue.
On June 17, Medialdea also filed a libel complaint against Tulfo over a May 28 column piece alleging that Medialdea has an “unholy” alliance with Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office board member Sandra Cam.
Tulfo remains the special envoy to China despite libel charges against him, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo told Manila Standard in a text message.
He was first appointed as special envoy in October 2018 and was reappointed on May 27 this year.
Tulfo will hold the post for another six months.