Libel rap on ‘Burlesk King’ case junked

By Jeffrey M. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer

DAVAO CITY – After about seven years of legal battle, broadcaster Jun Digamon was cleared of the libel charges filed against him by former local TV celebrity Jeanette Lomanta, the alleged paramour of Speaker Prospero Nograles, over the controversial Burlesk King scandal of 2001.

“God is good…I am vindicated,” Digamon said after Judge Renato Fuentes of the Regional Trial Court Branch 17 here read the verdict at around 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday.

In the decision, Fuentes said he found no evidence against Digamon in connection with his reports and commentaries over Radyo Bombo here about the alleged scandal, wherein Nograles was supposed to have been ordered to run naked in a hotel by Lomanta’s angry husband when they were allegedly caught there sometime in 2001.

Nograles and Lomanta sued several media men, including Digamon.

One of those charged, Alex Adonis of Bombo Radyo here, was convicted and jailed at the Davao Prisons and Penal Farm (DPPF) in Davao del Norte.

Nograles withdrew the case against Digamon “after much thought and in the spirit of forgiveness and out of my own goodwill,” but Lomanta pursued it.

Digamon, who now works for GMA Super Radyo, said he considered the trashing of the case against him as the “end of my agony…the end of the suffering of my family.”

The acquittal, he said, only proved that justice still works.

Digamon said the charges filed against him served a lesson but it also strengthened his resolve not to be cowed in pursuit of truth.

He said he was saddened by the continued detention of Adonis.

“That’s the painful part,” said Carmelito Francisco, chair of National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in Davao

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