The Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday answered the libel case filed by radio broadcaster Erwin Tulfo on Monday.
“The Inquirer stands by its story. We published the newsstory after careful investigation by our reporters and editors. It is fully supported by the statements of two witnesses and a paper trail showing that actual payment transpired. In investigating and exposing the pork barrel scam, the Inquirer is motivated only by its commitment to report the truth to the Filipino people for the common good and the welfare of the nation,” the Inquirer statement said.
On Monday, Tulfo filed a libel case on the Inquirer for a report that claimed that he received P245,535 in check from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) issued by then Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap in 2009.
A report said Tulfo filed libel charges against Inquirer’s editor-in-chief Letiicia Jimenez Magsanoc, managing editor Joey Nolasco and reporter Nancy Carvajal for the March 19 story quoting a sworn statement by Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Cacal, both former officials of National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) under the Department of Agriculture.
The state-owned Nabcor came under controversial light for allegedly being a conduit to non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to pork barrel scam suspect Janet Lim-Napoles.
Tulfo argued that the Nabcor issued check was legal and covered by advertising contracts obtained from Nabcor.
Tulfo’s lawyer, Nelson Borja, said that the news article on the alleged bribe was unacceptable.
“That is malicious, that is libelous, and that is damaging, especially sa status in Erwin Tulfo,” Borja said.