Publisher-editor ordered detained by judge

A publisher-editor of a new publication in Catanduanes was detained yesterday (Jan. 15) on orders of a regional trial court (RTC) judge who claimed an article in the paper maligned him, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) chapter in the province reported.

In an order issued Jan. 12, Catanduanes RTC Executive Judge Lelu Contreras directed Carmelo Rima, publisher and editor-in-chief of the weekly Island Sandigan, to explain why he should not be cited for contempt for an article published during the week of January 7-13, 2013.

But as he did so, Contreras also ordered Rima’s arrest and detention ahead of the hearing on January 17.

Rima was about to post the P20,000 bail set by Contreras but the judge left for Manila, said NUJP Catanduanes secretary Ramil Soliveres.

Rima is detained at the Police Provincial Office in Camp Camacho, Virac, Soliveres said.

According to the order, the article “degraded [the] court, brought it into disrepute and destroyed public confidence in it by alleging that the Hall of Justice is the ‘crime scene…where documents were possibly crafted to suit [incumbent Catanduanes Gov. Joseph] Cua’s naturalization’.”

The article reportedly also accused Contreras of having a hand ‘sa pag-magic nin naturalization documents kan Instik na si Joseph Cua [in the forging of Cua’s naturalization documents].’”

Cua, who is seeking reelection in May 2013, is facing complaints before the Commission on Elections and the Bureau of Immigration over his citizenship.

Rowena Paraan
Secretary General