A provincial radio commentator has been over a week in jail after being arrested on 22 January 2008 for failing to attend court hearings. No bail was recommended for his release.
Julito “Lito” Ucab, a freelance radio commentator in, is now behind bars in the Jail for failure to attend court hearings on a libel case filed against him in 2004 by a former employee of the Architect’s Office for his commentaries on the alleged involvement of a government employee in a rape incident. is a province approximately 790 km south of .
Ucab had been unable to attend court hearings since 2006 when he was granted provisional liberty by the court after posting P20, 000 ($490.32) for bail.
Ucab was formerly based in, where the libel case was filed. He was arrested in , where he moved in 2006.
Ucab, according to Ucab was also dxBC program manager.Press Club president Jerry Orcullo, allowed a maid to air accusations of rape against the official in his program over dxBC, a Butuan City-based radio station affiliated with Radio Mindanao Network.
Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) operatives in Misamis Oriental served the “alias warrant of arrest,” which courts issue when an accused fails to attended court hearings, in. Ucab works as a “blocktimer” at dxCO Radyo Banat in prior to his arrest. “Blocktimers” buy radio air time to run their own programs.
Libel is a criminal offense in the. Since the early 1990s, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility has been campaigning for the decriminalization of libel. Crippling fines and the threat of imprisonment for criminal libel have been repeatedly used by powerful individuals to harass and intimidate the press.
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