THE camp of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo filed on Friday, May 6, 2022, cyberlibel charges against an online news site over a report linking her to Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) founder Joma Sison.

Robredo’s spokesperson, lawyer Barry Gutierrez, filed before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office charges for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act against Lee Anne Ducusin, the writer of the news article; editor-in-chief Augusto Villanueva; associate editor Dennis Fetalino; managing editors Manuel Ces and Teresa Lardizabal; editorial consultant Reginald Velasco; news site owner PJI Web News Publishing; and publishing corporation Philippine Journalists Inc.

The respondents were from Journal News Online, People’s Journal, and People’s Journal Tonight.

The complaint stemmed from Ducusin’s report published sometime in April and titled “Joma admits advising Leni” for an online site and “Joma admits giving advice to Leni Camp” from People’s Journal newspaper.

It cited an alleged statement from Ang Bayan, the CPP’s official news organ, where Sison allegedly made the “revelation.”

Robredo who had been linked to the CPP amid the ongoing campaign period for the upcoming national and local elections has repeatedly denied ties with the terrorist group.

The CPP also denied that Sison made such a statement on Ang Bayan.

While it was mentioned in the article that Sison denied the statement, Gutierrez said it still has malicious intent considering the headline used.

He said the article aims to destroy Robredo’s credibility amid the campaign season.

“The foregoing are acts that I categorically and strongly deny for these are brazen falsehoods and are nothing but outright lies and malicious prevarications,” he said in the complaint affidavit.

“The fact that the respondents proceeded to publish the news article and used the headline ‘Joma admits advising Leni’ even after learning that the CPP and Sison denied publishing any news item in Ang Bayan, which was allegedly the basis of the news article, is already concrete proof of the bad faith and malicious intent on the part of the respondents,” he added. (SunStar Philippines)