Cuenco mulls suing broadcaster

OVER reports that he gave favors to Cebu-based businessman Peter Lim, Cebu City Councilor James Cuenco questioned the statements of a local broadcaster.

In a privilege speech yesterday, Cuenco threatened to file libel charges against broadcaster Leo Lastimosa of radio DyAB after he seemed to disregard his claims to clarify the matters he discussed in one of his radio programs last week.

u201cIf Mr. Lastimosa still wishes to ignore my plaint, perhaps he will not ignore a summon from a court of law. After all, all the elements of the crime of libel are there present. Perhaps he will learn - despite being already adjudged guilty of doing it once,” Cuenco said.

Harmless

Sought for comment, Lastimosa said he was just telling a “harmless” story.

u201cI was informed that Councilor Cuenco said that his accommodating a request from Peter Lim in Mactan airport was not a crime, and Peter Lim said he’s not a drug lord, so I was in effect just narrating a harmless tale which Cuenco fully confirmed in his privilege speech,” Lastimosa told Sun.Star Cebu in a message through Facebook.

Favors

The development came after Lastimosa said in his radio program last July 8 that Cuenco often gave Lim favors, quoting a text message allegedly from a former assistant general manager of Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIA), Ahmed Cuizon.

Cuizon is now the regional director of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board 7.

Speech

A voice clip of some parts of the program was played during Cuenco’s privilege speech yesterday.

While Cuenco admitted he once asked assistance from Cuizon when the mother of Lim died last year and her remains were to be transported back to Cebu from Singapore, he also clarified it was the only time he asked for a favor for Lim.

Peter Lim Jr., he said, was married to his (Cuenco’s) niece, who requested his assistance.

u201cAnd that was the one and only time I requested for such assistance. Would that merit an investigation for possible criminal act?” Cuenco asked.

However, in his Facebook post, Cuizon clarified that he was not the one who texted Lastimosa disclosing the favors asked by Cuenco.

u201cWhile it is true that I used to work with the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority, I deny having made or sent that text message. I already clarified this with Mr. Lastimosa today,” said a portion of the post of Cuizon last Friday.

Despite this, Cuenco said Lastimosa did not even make an effort to correct the previous broadcast.

A copy of the speech of Cuenco was sent to Lastimosa and the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster sa Pilipinas.

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