We write on behalf of our client, former Speaker Arnulfo P. Fuentebella, concerning Mr. Marlen V. Ronquillo’s distorted and myopic presentation of the gruesome and senseless massacre in Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur on March 22, 2014 of Jesse Brondia, Salem Virtuz, Julio Labiano and Rene Labiano, all of whom were family men who left behind minor children. The article dated July 3, 2014 entitled, “Despoiling a slice of paradise,” merely depicted them as illegal miners who were being used in the imagined environmental rape of Caramoan.
The matters touched upon in the article cannot be further from the truth. On May 22, 2014, the Commission on Human Rights or CHR came out with a report depicting Sagip Kalikasan men as the persons responsible for the murder of the Gata 4. The Sagip Kalikasan men identified in the report have since been charged by the police. Sagip Kalikasan directly reports to Gov. Migz Villafuerte. Attached for your reference is a copy of the CHR Report.
On June 9, 2014, the National Police Commission or NAPOLCOM issued a Resolution removing the deputation of Gov. Migz Villafuerte as NAPOLCOM Deputy for the Province of Camarines Sur. This came about due to his refusal to cooperate with police authorities and his coddling of Sagip Kalikasan men involved in the GATA 4 massacre. Attached for your reference is a copy of the NAPOLCOM Resolution.
The CHR report likewise stated that Sagip Kalikasan engages in illegal mining activities. Ms. Emily Alvarez Sta. Ana, owner of a property located in Barangay Gata, Caramoan, Camarines Sur, in a latter to Gov. Migz Villafuerte dated December 29, 2013 appealed for help because Sagip Kalikasan men armed to the teeth with long firearms forcibly entered her property and took over the same. They then brought in big ball mills and undertook mining operations. Gov. Villafuerte merely dismissed her report and appeal for help as “malicious.” Attached for your reference is a copy of Ms. Sta. Ana’s letter.
Indeed, the Villafuertes are in hot water for their incessant disregard for the processes of law. The blatant abuse of the Governor’s powers is finally catching up with them. Instead of facing the issue squarely, they resort to publicity stunts to divert attention from themselves with no other purpose but to defame and destroy the good name of their perceived political nemesis, my client.
In their own little world, they think that passing the blame on someone will absolve them from their multiple crimes and cases.
On a final note, we are certain that your columnist is aware of journalism ethics and standards of truthfulness, accuracy, objectivity, impartiality, fairness and public accountability. We strongly urge your columnist to remember these principles before allowing himself to be used as a mouthpiece of the Villafuertes.
We, therefore, demand that you publish this letter in full in order that the public may know the truth behind the malicious and libelous accusations against our client. Otherwise, you leave us no choice but to seek redress through legal means.
ATTY. JOSE MIGUEL C. PALARCA