‘Bong’ Pineda sues Inquirer for libel

Last updated 05:31am (Mla time) 06/24/2007

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga—Rodolfo “Bong” Pineda, the husband of defeated Pampanga gubernatorial candidate Lilia Pineda, has sued Inquirer publisher Isagani Yambot, editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and Central Luzon correspondent Tonette Orejas for libel.


Claiming the daily had made “defamatory and malicious imputations and remarks” against him, Pineda is seeking P5 million in damages from the respondents.


Pineda’s complaint, which his lawyer filed in the office of the provincial prosecutor here on June 4, stemmed from a story published on Page 1 of the Inquirer’s May 29 issue written by Orejas titled, “Panlilio poll leader killed; vendetta seen.”


The story narrated the May 28 murder of Guagua Barangay Captain Mario “Jomar” Nulud, who was a supporter and friend of Fr. Eddie Panlilio, the governor-elect of Pampanga. Panlilio defeated Pineda’s wife in the gubernatorial race.


In the complaint, Pineda branded as “defamatory and malicious” the reference in the story to his “alleged political vendetta” and his being called an “alleged jueteng lord.”


He also called attention to a part of the story which said, “[Nulud] was killed after reports circulated that Pineda had been calling several barangay captains to meetings to make them explain where they spent the money he had given them and why they failed to make Lilia win.”


The portions he also claimed were libelous were the phrases that said he had “built a reputation of being a political kingmaker in Pampanga,” that he had “funded the campaigns of local, as well as national candidates” and that he had “supposed political clout.”


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