Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Libel Case vs Claudine, Columnist : Dismissed

The libel case filed by Yes magazine editor Jo-Ann Maglipon against Claudine Barreto and columnist/The Buzz co-host Jobert Sucaldito has been dismissed by the Pasig City Prosecutor's Office.

This was in reference to Jobert's column which appeared in the tabloid Bandera last August 2005 with the title: "Say ni Claudine sa Editor ng Yes Magazine...Hindi ako masamang tao...Ako ang hindi mo nirespeto!"

Jobert wrote that he was able to talk to Claudine on the phone where the actress expressed her feelings about Maglipon's alleged lack of respect. This was after Yes magazine came out with articles about her and published pictures of the actress sleeping on the set of the teleserye Marina and of her new house under construction without her permission.

Apparently the "rift" between Claudine and Jo-Ann goes way back when Claudine's ex-boyfriend Rico Yan passed away. Jobert's column quoted Claudine saying, "Marami nang pagkakataon na akong nabastos ni Jo-Anne. It all started dun sa mga articles na inilabas nila about didn't look good on me..."

In Maglipon's affidavit, she claimed that Claudine's statements were damaging to her reputation as a journalist.

But according to the Pasig prosecutor there is not enough evidence against Claudine and Jobert.

"Truth to tell, Ms. Barreto has more reason to sue for libel, but she has exhibited admirable restraint so far. We are thankful that this unwarranted suit has reached the fate that it deserves," said Atty. Raymond Fortun, Claudine's lawyer.

Maglipon's lawyers are now preparing to file a motion for reconsideration before the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC). "Until the final terms of the compromise being forged before the Quezon City Court are settled, we must continue to pursue our criminal complaints. Thus we are preparing a Motion for Reconsideration of the Pasig Prosecutor's Resolution because we feel the dismissal was erroneous. The other libel complaints before the Mandaluyong and Quezon City courts are still unresolved at the moment," said Atty. Sandra Coronel, one of Maglipon's lawyers.

This means that this is not the end for Claudine's legal battles because there are still two pending libel cases that Maglipon filed against the actress before the Quezon City and Mandaluyong RTC.

"We hope that the other complaints would also be dismissed in the same fashion," said Atty. Fortun.

Maglipon refused to comment about the cases and said that it's purely a legal matter.

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