NEWSPAPER columnist Ramon Tulfo and the top executives of Manila Times were sued anew for libel and cyber-libel before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office, the third to be filed by officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) in less than two months.
In his complaint filed last September 6, Adonis ‘Don’ M. Samson, executive assistant to BIR chief Caesar Dulay, averred that Tulfo engaged in “character assassination spree” against him, BIR assistant commissioner for client support services Teresita Angeles and Dulay.
The latest libel complaint also involves the series of column pieces written by Tulfo involving a video recording purportedly of a conversation between Angeles and Samson about the sheninagans at the BIR.
Although the persons in the video were not disclosed, Tulfo, in the column pieces that he wrote, directly named Angeles and Samson. His articles appeared several times in the Manila Times, its online edition and on Tulfo’s personal social media account.
Tulfo claimed the video recording was made sometime in August 2017 when Samson and Angeles were attending a short course in the United States. He claimed Angeles and Samson were angry after they were allegedly “left out” of the bribe money involving two high-profile cases handled by the tax agency.
But according to Samson, he has never set foot in the US mainland in his entire life.
“I was granted my US B1/B2 visa only in 2018, which up until now I have not used,” Samson pointed out.
“With wanton disregard to journalistic standards of truth and fairness, respondent Tulfo authored the succeeding pieces revolving around my alleged involvement if not acquiescence to graft and corruption in the institution I belong as well as insinuations of immoral conduct on my part,” Samson said.
Samson also strongly reacted to Tulfo’s claim that he and Angeles had just finished having sex when the recording was made.
“… (N) ot only did respondent Tulfo claim that I am a corrupt government employee under Commissioner Caesar Dulay but also that I am in an illicit intimate relationship with an otherwise reputable woman,” Samson stressed.
The 5 counts of libel and 7 counts of cyber libel filed by Samson was on top of the several counts of libel, cyber libel, incriminatory machination and cyber fraud complaints filed separately by Dulay and Angeles against Tulfo and the top executives of the Manila Times, namely:
Dante M. Ang II, president/CEO; Blanca Mercado, COO; Nerilyn Tenorio, publisher-editor; Rene Bas, publisher-emeritus and, editors, Leena Chua, Lynette Luna, Arnold Belleza and several John and Jane Does.
Both Dulay and Angeles are seeking moral and exemplary damages for P20 million each while Samson is seeking a total of P2.1 million in moral and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.
Angeles and Dulay also pleaded for the issuance of an “HDO” (hold departure order) against Tulfo, claiming he is a “flight risk.”
Aside from the BIR officials, Tulfo is also facing libel charges filed by executive secretary Salvador Medialdea and former justice secretary, Vitaliano Aguirre.