Reporter Gretchen Fullido is ready to fight after the libel cases she filed against colleagues Ces Drilon and Marie Lozano were dismissed by the Quezon City Prosecutors office.
Fullido’s lawyer Marvin Aceron told Coconuts Manila in a message sent last night that they will file a Motion for Reconsideration or a Petition for a Review at the Department of Justice in due time.
Quezon City’s Ofice of the Prosecutor recommended the dismissal of the libel cases against broadcast journalists Drilon and Lozano of ABS-CBN News after Fullido filed cases against them in October for allegedly besmirching her reputation.
The resolution dismissing Drilon’s case was dated Jan. 17, while the resolution for Lozano’s case was dated Jan. 28, Rappler reported. However, the prosecutors’ decision only became public last night.
The case stems from the sworn statements submitted by Drilon and Lozano to the ABS-CBN Ad Hoc Investigating Committee in connection with Fullido’s sexual harassment complaint against news show TV Patrol‘s former supervising producer Cheryl Favila and segment producer Maricar Asprec, ABS-CBN News reported.
Fullido took offense with Drilon’s statement when the latter said:
“Gretchen’s accusations of sexual harassment against [Favila and Asprec] also surprised me because [there were so] many times…. I witnessed [our collegues] Ted Failon and Noli De Castro make side comments…. about Gretchen’s body, manner of dress, or behavior that, in my opinion, constituted sexual harassment or at least inappropriate behavior.”
Drilon also said: “But Gretchen Fullido only laughed off these comments. She never complained. One remark she made in one party struck me: she said she was willing to wear a bikini with an inflatable pool and bubbles on TV Patrol to shore up its ratings.”
Fullido interpreted Drilon’s statement as a form of victim-shaming. However, the prosecutors do not share Fullido’s views.
In a copy of the resolution acquired by entertainment website Pep.ph, the prosecutors said that Drilon’s statement was a form of privileged communication because it was submitted to the committee and was not given to other parties.
They also said the statement was not libelous because it was made in good faith due to Drilon’s belief that the committee could address the issues that Asprec and Favila were dealing with.
On the other hand, Lozano’s allegedly libelous statement went: “The first thing that came to mind as the reason why Gretchen filed a complaint is that she wanted to hold on to Star Patrol [TV Patrol‘s entertainment segment].”
“Before all this, rumors were spreading that the time has come for her to be replaced after [a] celebrity patroller started sitting in for Gretchen.”
The prosecutors said that both Drilon and Lozano’s statements were not defamatory.
ABS-CBN’s Ad Hoc Committee dismissed the sexual harassment cases but found Favila guilty of gross misconduct; she has since left the company. Asprec, on the other hand, still works at ABS-CBN.
Fullido also filed sexual harassment complaints against Favila and Asprec in the Quezon City Prosecutor’s office and accused them of sending her text messages with sexual innuendos that “amounted to requests for sexual favors.”
However, Favila has denied Fullido’s allegations and said she has no sexual interest in her whatsoever.
This article, Gretchen Fullido to fight dismissal of libel cases she filed against colleagues Ces Drilon and Marie Lozano, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!