The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines welcomes the Court of Appeals’ affirmation of its earlier decision denying First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo’s petition to stop the Makati Regional Trial Court from proceeding with hearings on the class suit filed by media against him.
The ruling, along with the Makati RTC’s earlier decision granting the plaintiff’s plea for liberality in applying the rules of court and allowing the suit to proceed, proves that the judiciary may still be a refuge of those victimized by the powerful and the wealthy.
Mr. Arroyo’s attempt to head off the class suit by insisting that the plaintiffs should have posted P9 million in docket fees betrays the mindset with which he maliciously and frivolously sued more than 40 of our colleagues with libel, a mindset that holds justice is attainable only for those with power and wealth.
It was clear from the start that the class suit was filed not to seek personal satisfaction but to drive home the point that no one, not even anyone as privileged as Jose Miguel Arroyo, can attempt to silence the press with ill-conceived harassment suits and think to get away with it.
And so we say thank you to magistrates who take their calling to heart and make the courts available for those who seek justice and protection from the abuses of the mighty.
Nonoy Espina, NUJP vice chair
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