Ogie Diaz files counter-affidavit; Mama Loi files perjury case vs Bea Alonzo

Jan Milo Severo - Philstar.com
Ogie Diaz files counter-affidavit; Mama Loi files perjury case vs Bea Alonzo
Actor, talent manager and host Ogie Diaz
ABS-CBN / Released

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of showbiz reporter Ogie Diaz filed a counter-affidavit for the cyber libel cases filed against them by actress Bea Alonzo. 

Ogie's legal counsel Atty. Regie Tongol posted the camp's statement on Facebook, saying Mama Loi also sued Bea for Perjury. 

"Today, my clients filed their separate Counter-Affidavits before Investigating Prosecutor Edward Seijo. Along with the filing of a Counter-Affidavit, our client Mama Loi also filed a counter-charge for perjury with damages against Ms. Alonzo since the Complaint-Affidavit made it appear she made defamatory utterances even though she has not said anything at all," Tongol said. 

"In our seventy-page (70) Counter-Affidavit, we called out the Complainant by not clearly stating in her sixteen-page (16) Complaint-Affidavit the specific individuals who uttered the specific defamatory statements making it appear it was all Mr. Diaz who made them," he added. 

Tongol said Alonzo's two counts of cyber libel even included the November 19, 2022 episode in the “Ogie Diaz Showbiz Update” YouTube channel.

"Meaning, it was filed way beyond the one-year prescriptive period for cyber libel.  As to this count, we are very confident that the charge against our clients would be dismissed," he said.  

"They even failed to show clear and convincing proof of 'actual malice' whether in the form of 'reckless disregard for the truth' or ill-motive which is a legal requirement and standard if the Complainant is a public figure. The opinions expressed by Mr. Diaz’s co-hosts on the November 19, 2022 episode were merely based on a common truthful observation of the netizens of the performance of her show, 'Startup PH'  as pointed out in their several comments online," he added. 

Tongol also said that the hosts' statemant in the show's February 12, 2024 episode was not defamatory. 

"As to the second count which refers to episode February 12, 2024, the utterances there by Mr. Diaz’s co-hosts are not defamatory because being offered a role that was turned down by Marian Rivera-Dantes or any other actresses is not unusual given that Mrs. Rivera-Dantes is the undisputed queen of GMA. We proved that it is a common practice in both the local and foreign showbiz industry.

"By being an actress, complainant in effect gave the public a legitimate interest in her life and in her work. Therefore, the subject posts and utterances by Mr. Diaz’s co-hosts are within the realm of fair comment on her work as one of the actresses in the Philippines contrary to their claim in the media that it was about her personal life. Under our laws 'fair commentaries on matters of public interest are privileged and constitute a valid defense in an action for libel or slander' because democracy would be meaningless without free discussion of public affairs, even at the cost of a few bruised egos."

The lawyer also had a message for journalists to not fear libel threats. 

"Other bloggers, writers, journalists and our clients should not be cowered by the filing of cases just to suppress the freedom of expression and of the press by public figures who are too onion-skinned. Our clients will fight this case with courage because they have no malicious intent and the thirty million pesos (P30,0000,000.00) damages being asked by Ms. Bea Alonzo in her complaint is not only unjustified and unreasonable but is also exorbitant. We are also ready to file other counter charges against Ms. Alonzo for malicious prosecution and damages for this suppression of our client’s freedom of the press and expression in due time."

RELATEDOgie Diaz breaks silence over Bea Alonzo's surprise cyber libel raps

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