Philippines’s First Gentleman drops all defamation suits against journalists

May. 04, 2007

Reporters Without Borders today welcomed the news that Mike Arroyo, the husband of President Gloria Arroyo, has decided to drop all law suits against the country’s journalists and publishers.

The worldwide press freedom organisation hailed the exemplary campaign waged by Philippines’ journalist organisations and called for press offences to be decriminalised.

Mike Arroyo on 3 May instructed his lawyers to end all “defamation” suits which he had launched since 2003 against a total of 46 journalists, in connection with articles alleging corruption in which he was reportedly implicated.

“In order to express my deep gratitude and in a gesture of peace towards the good people who have helped my family during this crisis, I have instructed my lawyers to drop the cases for defamation. This is a real opportunity for us to begin a positive and constructive relationship with those who accept my outstretched hand”, he said after leaving hospital where he had undergone an operation.

In December 2006, journalists took their own legal action against the president’s husband because of the abusive accusations he made against them.

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