DOJ ruling 'irrelevant'; YES! editor, actress reach agreement



After the Department of Justice reversed the ruling of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office that recommended the filing of three counts of libel against actress Claudine Barretto before the Quezon City Regional Trial Court, the lawyer of the complainant—Jo-Ann Maglipon—said the development was now “irrelevant” citing an agreement by both parties to withdraw cases against each other.

“As early as October 20, Claudine [Barretto], Jo-Ann Maglipon and [her daughter] Pat had already signed a memorandum of agreement to withdraw all cases against each other,” Maglipon’s lawyer Sandy Coronel told Philippine Entertainment Portal (PEP).

“They had already withdrawn the cases…so it is irrelevant kung anong nangyari [sa case] because it is the intention of the parties to withdraw the cases.”

According to Coronel, a motion to dismiss the cases shall be submitted to the QC-RTC today, November 8. “After that, the motion to withdraw the cases will be acted upon,” Coronel added.

Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez ordered the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office on November 7 to withdraw Maglipon’s cases against Barretto after concluding that the statements that were attributed to the actress were not libelous.

That order overturned the September 11 recommendation made by QC prosecutors to file three counts of libel against Barretto before the QC-RTC. Gonzalez said Maglipon could still appeal the decision.

Maglipon had filed seven counts of libel against Barretto over the actress’ statements that she was an “unfair and irresponsible journalist” and a human rights violator. These statements, which were made public on July 2005, Maglipon said besmirched her reputation as a professional journalist and a human rights advocate.

Barretto had earlier filed a damage suit against Maglipon, editor of YES! Magazine, over pictures that appeared on the publication without her consent. The pictures included behind the scenes photographs of Barretto’s defunct fantaserye Marina, the construction of her house, and an “offering ceremony” of her adopted daughter, Sabina.

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With a report from Jocelyn Dimaculangan


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