TV personality Jeanette Lomanta has reportedly submitted an affidavit of desistance in relation to the libel case she filed against former radio broadcaster Alexander Adonis. As a result, Regional Trial Court Branch 14 in Davao City is set to dismiss the case soon – BUT only if Adonis’ other pending cases get settled as well.
The libel case against the former journalist is in line with Adonis’ series of commentaries over the air in 2001 alleging that Lomanta had a so-called tryst in a Manila hotel with then Davao 1st District Congressman now House Speaker Prospero Nograles.
Lomanta reportedly withdrew her complaint after “adhering to the Christian values of forgiveness.” Adonis, in a letter dated October 21, 2008, extended his apologies to her. He still has to face a pending libel case filed against him by Nograles, also related to the same issue.
Now I wonder if Rep. Nograles will drop the case as well. I can’t help but wonder if he can also find it in his heart to adhere to the Christian values of forgiveness.
While this development may serve as “good news” for Adonis and his family, I can’t help but feel bad over the fact that radio broadcasters who just want to do their jobs get castigated. Because, really (and not many people know this harsh truth), there are media outlets out there that “encourage” or even go to the extent of basically “directing” their personnel to say harsh, baseless, non-factual things against someone just so they can get the full attention of that person or worse, so that they can receive money in exchange for their tirades. Sadly, there are media men who still practice “AC-DC” (attack-collect, defend-collect).
I also cannot help but feel bad over the fact that libel still has not been decriminalized in this country. I do know, though, that there are certain moves in the Senate, especially under the Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws, headed by Senator Richard Gordon, to conduct hearings on the matter. Still, I hope this bill gets ratified at least before the next presidential campaign!
On the other hand, I hope that perhaps libel cases like these can help remind my fellow journalists to become more careful and responsible whenever they write or speak.