Barry Gutierrez is suing over an article that falsely claims CPP founder Jose Sison was a key campaign adviser to him and presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo
MANILA, Philippines — Barry Gutierrez, the spokesperson for presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo, has filed a cyberlibel lawsuit against the writer and publisher of Journal News Online for an article claiming the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) Jose Ma. Sison was reportedly Robredo’s campaign adviser.
Gutierrez filed his sworn complaint with the Quezon City Attorney’s Office on Friday, May 6, three days before Filipinos are due to vote in the 2022 high-stakes national elections.
A lawyer, Gutierrez is suing the following parties of Journal News Online for cyberlibel: article author Lee Ann P. Ducusin, PJI Web News Publishing, owner and publisher of journalnews.com.ph, and Philippine Journalists Incorporated, the publishing company. ‘editing.
He argued that they violated the cyberdefamation provisions under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 or Republic Act No. 10175 and the defamation provisions under the Revised Penal Code for having published the article titled “Joma admits advising Leni” on April 21, 2022.
The article incorrectly claimed that Sison allegedly acted as a key contributor to Robredo’s campaign and also acted as an adviser to Robredo and Gutierrez.
But Robredo, Gutierrez and even Sison himself and the CPP have all released separate statements denying the Journal News Online accusations. Rappler also published a fact-checking article debunking these lies.
Gutierrez called the article “malicious” and “defamatory”.
“The news article does not give due regard to truth, propriety and fairness, which the author and editors have caused the writing and publication of a slanderous, malicious, abusive, false article , defamatory, and defamatory in Journal News Online with intent to attack my person, character, and honor and expose me to public ridicule, contempt, and hatred,” Gutierrez said in his sworn complaint.
Gutierrez “categorically and strongly” denied all accusations in the article, including false claims that he acted as Sison’s conduit for launching media attacks on other presidential candidates.
He also rejected the article’s attempts to link him and Robredo to communists.
“I personally reject and condemn all forms of violence, murder, armed conflict and violation of human rights. The attribution made by the news article that Vice President Robredo and I are associated in any way with the RPC has a natural tendency to damage and blacken my reputation in the eyes of the public, especially more than Vice President Robredo holds the second-highest position in the executive branch and has always strived to ensure that our office represents a transparent, honest, God-fearing, and humane public,” Gutierrez said.
Robredo was constantly labeled in red as the leader of the opposition movement against President Rodrigo Duterte. But the red flag intensified further as she declared her candidacy for president and began to ride on momentum in the crucial final weeks of the campaign.
The lone presidential candidate has already said she will not ally with anyone who uses violence to advance her agenda. She promised to help protect her “kakampink” supporters from these attacks.
Several of his supporters have since filed complaints against Presidential Undersecretary of Communications Lorraine Badoy for her serial branding of Robredo. Badoy is the spokesperson for the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, the body formed by Duterte to deal with the Communist insurgency. – Rappler.com