Monday, April 8, 2019

Gretchen Fullido’s Legal Counsel Files for Motion for Reconsideration at QC Prosecutor’s Office

Image courtesy of Instagram: gretsfullido

After the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office dismissed Gretchen Fullido’s libel case against ABS-CBN News’ Marie Lozano, Ces Drilon and Venancio Borromeo, the TV personality’s legal counsel Atty. Marvin Aceron has filed Motions for Reconsideration with the same office on the afternoon of April 4, 2018.

Lozano, Drilon and Venancio testified against Fullido in an investigation conducted by ABS-CBN in connection with the TV Patrol Star Patroler’s sexual harassment complaint against former ABS-CBN news executive Cheryl Favila and ABS-CBN news producer Maricar Asprec.

In a statement released to media, Atty. Aceron clarified that the cases are still ongoing. He said, “Please do not be misled into believing that the cases have been dismissed with finality. The filing of the Motions for Reconsideration, ten days from receipt of the resolutions, keeps the cases alive.”

Furthermore, he said that their camp is prepared in case that the QC Prosecutor’s Office does not rule in their favor. Atty. Aceron said, “In the event of a denial, we have resolved to file a Petition for Review with the Department of Justice.”

Fullido’s legal counsel pointed out that the QC Prosecutor's Office cannot dismiss the case based on the doctrine of privileged communication which ensures protection for person who has a moral duty to make the communication to a board or superior, and who has made the statements in good faith.

He said, “We refuse to accept that the respondents have a moral and social duty to state in a verified affidavit that our client ‘cannot write’ or to imply that she deserves to be harassed, because she just laughed off the harassment by other colleagues, or that she was willing to wear a bikini with an inflatable pool and bubbles on TV Patrol to shore up its ratings, even more so, to say that our client was engaged in blackmail or that she was using her sexual harassment case to keep her job.”

He added,  “Bystanders who have nothing to do with the sexual harassment should not be allowed to join the fray and put down the victim with disparaging comments and claim it’s a social and moral duty. There can never be a duty to disparage a victim of sexual harassment.”

Below is Atty. Aceron’s statement in full: 

“We have filed this afternoon our Motions for Reconsideration on the resolutions of the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office regarding the cases filed by Gretchen Fullido for Libel.

Please do not be misled into believing that the cases have been dismissed with finality. The filing of the Motions for Reconsideration, ten days from receipt of the resolutions, keep the cases alive. And in the event of denial, we have resolved to file a Petition for Review with the Department of Justice. 

The resolutions of the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office pointed us to the doctrine of privileged communication, which means statements may not be actionable for Libel if the following requisites are present:

(1) The person who made the communication had a legal, moral, or social duty to make the communication, or at least, had an interest to protect, which interest may either be his own or of the one to whom it is made; 

(2) The communication is addressed to an officer or a board, or superior, having some interest or duty in the matter, and who has the power to furnish the protection sought; and 

(3) The statements in the communication are made in good faith and without malice. (Citations omitted.)

Our Motions for Reconsideration essentially dispute that all these requisites have been satisfied. We refuse to accept that the respondents have a moral and social duty to state in a verified affidavit that our client “cannot write” or to imply that she deserves to be harassed, because she just laughed off the harassment by other colleagues, or that she was willing to wear a bikini with an inflatable pool and bubbles on TV Patrol to shore up its ratings, or even more so, to say that our client was engaged in blackmail, or that she was using her sexual harassment case to keep her job.

The concept behind a moral and social duty cannot be applied to support the dismissal of these cases. Bystanders who have nothing to do with the sexual harassment should not be allowed to join the fray and put down the victim with disparaging comments and claim it’s a social and moral duty. There can never be a duty to disparage a victim of sexual harassment. 

Further, the statements were not solicited by the ABS CBN Investigating Committee. They were voluntarily given. It was not a moral or social duty, but an excess of enthusiasm.

We take this opportunity to help enrich the public’s understanding of the nature of sexual harassment. It is the character of the accused, which is on trial in sexual harassment. Certainly, to attack the character of the victim is not only irrelevant, it may even be construed as an endorsement of the perpetrator.

While we commend the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City in resolving the cases with dispatch, we regret that we cannot accept an erroneous resolution. Thus, we trust that our Motions for Reconsideration will be heard.”

7 comments:

  1. Karapatan naman nya yan. Di ko lang Kaya yun ginagawa nya na pumapasok sa office na kasama yun mga tao na kinakasuhan ko. Parang sobrang stressful pag ganun.

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    Replies
    1. Im not pro gretchen but i am anti harrassment sa mga babae. Pagpatuloy mo lang yan Mam Gretchen.

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  2. go girl ipaglaban mo kung ano ang tama sa tingin mo. No to bullying in office environment.

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  3. Ces and Marie are an example of women who pull their own down because it makes them feel superior. How sad.

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  4. grabe buti nkkyanan pa nya work nya naaanajusko alberta pa naman parents nya...jusko makita mo nga lang kinaiinisan mo sobra toxic na..laban lang ateng wagka susuko sa mga boss mong bully...

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  5. Bilib din ako sa knya, dun pa din sya nagwo-work, Im sure she bumps into them paminsan-minsan because they work in the same building, hindi sya umiiwas sa knila. At bakit nga nman, if her accusations are true, sila ang dpat mangilag at hindi sya.

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