It all started with one libel case, which was unceremoniously dismissed by a competent judicial authority. Well and good. But four years later, the illustrious Department of Justice had the case again filed – possibly for reason of national interest only known to its celebrated Secretary. The pursuant Warrant of Arrest was issued. The accused paid the usual P10,000 bail bond for his temporary liberty.
So now, a Manila Regional Trial Court is hearing the same case. Last July, the arraignment was held. The accused pleaded “not guilty” to the one and the same libel case, but lo and behold! This September, there are no less than 80 libel cases filed against the same accused on the exactly the same issue. And this time around, the bail will amount to a whopping P800,000. Strange but true!
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), which is probably orchestrating and altogether funding the prosecution of the case, must be enjoying the spectacle with glee, must be laughing with great delight at the marked improvement of basically its own libel case. It could be jumping for joy the moment its accused would go to jail either for his refusal or his inability to pay the bail bond, which is now 80 times more.
Wallowing in the multi-billion gambling loses of its clients and counting on the practical omnipotence of nothing less than the supreme authority all over the land, PAGCOR must be one lucky gambling corporation that would not back off from anything and anybody at any time in any place – during the rule of the incumbent administration at least.
With its indulgence, hopefully PAGCOR would not be offended by an unsolicited advice from its own accused in order to make its libel case not only more compelling but also more electrifying. Who knows? It might then even get a page in the Guinness’ Book of World Records – with the probable heading: “A government owned public gambling corporation that filled the biggest number of libel cases against one person on but one and the same issue.”
The impressive 80 counts of libel appears to be based on the number of the assumed complainants multiplied by the number of newspapers that carried the story. The unsolicited advice goes this way: Let the 80 counts of libel be also multiplied by combined numbers of the all of the issues of the said newspapers – plus the number of all their readers, also combined. This would require a lot of counting that would also enormously increase the grand total of the libel cases. And the total amount the bail bond would then be also enormous and spectacular.
The surge of libel cases filed and re-filed against some people who are telling the truth about the present government is apparently used to threaten and silence them and to keep them from pointing out the realities in the Country after some eight long years of its seemingly omniscient and omnipotent repressive and depressive rule.
September 9, 2008