Press Release
September 18, 2008


Senate Majority Leader and former broadcast journalist Kiko Pangilinan today called for the review of the 'antiquated' Libel Law, following the Supreme Court's affirmation of the four counts of libel versus journalist Erwin Tulfo and company.

"The Libel Law has remained essentially unamended for almost 80 years. It's time the law is reviewed, see possible areas for amendment, or if found appropriate, scrapped," Kiko said.

The High Court decided to uphold the Pasay Trial Court ruling against Tulfo for a series of articles he wrote against lawyer Carlo So of the Bureau of Customs Intelligence Unit in 1999 in the tabloid Remate. Also convicted are Susan Cambri, Rey Salao, Jocelyn Barlizo and Philip Pichay.

"Our current Libel Law is a vestige of our colonial past. Being a former mediaman myself, I know the inherent sense of duty of the journalists to seek the truth, and they need to be given their rightful freedom to pursue their calling without prior restraint or the fear of being reprimanded for performing their profession," Kiko added.

"We need to strike a balance so that our journalists are able to be the watchdog of the public and a constant check on matters of public interest and of government officials, without of course brushing aside the privacy and reputation of their subjects. The legislators need to sit down and discuss the possible crafting of a libel law contemporaneous and reflective of the current situations," ended Kiko.

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