PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — FIRST Gentleman Mike Arroyo is contemplating to file another criminal case against Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Ramon “Mon” Tulfo for his alleged continued lying even under oath.
In his reply to counter-affidavits submitted by Tulfo and his brothers, Erwin and Raffy, before the office of Quezon City Assistant Prosecutor Juan Rodulfo, Arroyo claimed that Tulfo continues to lie even under oath since even after mentioning his name several times in his interviews, he claims he never identified him.
“This is perjury of the highest order and I reserve my right to take additional remedies in due time,” Arroyo stressed in his four-page reply-affidavit.
Arroyo submitted the reply-affidavit after the Tulfo brothers claimed that there were no adequate facts to support the charge of libel against them and no verbatim defamatory remarks in the complaint.
In his separate counter-affidavit, Mon stressed that he did not name, identify or even describe the First Gentleman with sufficient particularity in the statements he made during the press conference.
The Tulfo brothers further stressed that the matters presented during the press conference have factual basis as they were relayed by reliable sources and verified by them independently, hence there was no actual malice.
But Arroyo averred the counter-affidavits of the Tulfo brothers are off-tangent and lack basis in fact and law.
“There is no question that a press conference can be libelous. In fact, it is worse than an ordinary publication as it involved all the enumerated means in the commission of libel. In this case, respondents’ statements were released on tri-media,” Arroyo added in his reply.
Arroyo added that the qualified privileged invoked by the respondents is not absolute since it merely removes the presumption of malice and requires a respondent to prove good intention and justifiable motive.
“Respondent Mon Tulfo, specifically, has repeatedly declared that he can prove his accusations. The law will not deny him that opportunity. That opportunity is a trial on the merits. Respondents obviously welcome a trial,” the First Gentleman added.
Meanwhile, Prosecutor Rodulfo has given the Tulfo brothers until Nov. 20 to submit their rejoinder as an answer on the reply-affidavit of the First Gentleman.
Arroyo filed the case after the Tulfo brothers allegedly accused him of engineering the cancellation of their television program “Isumbong Mo (Tulfo Brothers)” aired over RPN Channel 9 during a press conference last August in Quezon City.