Businessman demands P50M in damages from Rappler over “malicious allegations” - The Daily Sentry

Businessman demands P50M in damages from Rappler over “malicious allegations”

Rappler was slapped with P50 million compensation due to its article that was allegedly baseless and malicious, according to a businessman.

Businessman Wilfredo Keng sought P50 million in damages from Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. This, after an article about him was released by the news site.

Said article states that Keng allowed the late chief justice Renato Corona to use his SUV, plus his alleged involvement in human trafficking and dr*g smuggling.

Based on his affidavit, he was asking for P25 million in moral damages, and another P25 million in exemplary damages which he would supposedly donate to charity.

“I want to send the message to members of the media that they cannot simply destroy a person’s reputation and character, through irresponsible, inaccurate, malicious and unjust reporting, without grave consequences,” Keng said.

The businessman explained that half of the amount is for moral damages to compensate for his physical suffering, mental anguish, besmirched reputation and wounded feelings while the other half is for exemplary damages, to set an example to the community.

“I want to discourage the press, such as Rappler, which is a very popular social news network, from easily spreading baseless and malicious allegations without much consideration or forethought,” he said.

The complainant sued Rappler for cyber-libel over a May 2012 article.

Under the multiple publication rule, government prosecutors found probable cause to indict Ressa and the former writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. because even if it was published in 2012, the same content was republished back in February 2014, making it punishable under the cyber-libel law.

Contesting the charge filed against her, Rappler's Ressa challenged the Department of Justice’s resolution, arguing that the law did not take effect until April 2014 during which the SC decision upholding the law’s validity became final, and the restraining order was lifted.

However, in a nine-page order, the Manila RTC pointed out that the TRO just suspended the “implementation and enforcement of RA 10175, so that crimes committed during the said period cannot be prosecuted” but not its effectivity.

Source: Abogado