P10-M libel suit against LPG-MA party-list

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A party-list representative and three others were slapped with a P10-million libel suit before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Friday for causing the publication of alleged malicious articles against a local liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) dealer.

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Charged were LPG-MA party-list Representative Arnel Ty; Allan Lopez, reporter of Bulgar newspaper; Al Pedroche and Gemma Garcia, the editor-in-chief and reporter, respectively, of PM newspaper.

Through her legal counsel, Nelson Borja, complainant Arlene Requilme, proprietress of Worthy Marketing, claimed that the allegations of Ty which were published on the July 12, 2013 issues of Bulgar and PM Pang-Masa were malicious and defamatory that caused extensive damage to her business.

The articles purportedly warned the public not to buy the China-made LPG tanks being sold by Requilme’s company for lack of an Import Commodity Clearance (ICC) from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

In her four-page complaint-affidavit, Requilme cited the articles entitled “Babala: Hindi Dumaan sa tamang testing—LPG NA MADE IN CHINA, SUMASABOG,” and “Shine Gas, Huwag Bilhin – Solon,” were written by Lopez and Garcia, respectively, while quoting Ty.

Ty’s warning was a result of the explosion of a Shine gas tank in Paco, Manila wherein 15 persons were injured.

In the same articles, Ty also stated that at least 10 incidents of LPG explosions are taking place every month wherein most of these tanks are substandard and not safe to use just like the products of Shine gas.

The complainant added that the said articles were distributed to various publications by Ty, who prepared a press release dated July 11, 2013.

“Contrary to the baseless and unfounded imputation of respondent Ty, our LPG cylinders named ‘Shine Gaz’ have passed for household use and were issued the corresponding ICC by the DTI,” the complainant added in her affidavit.

Requilme further claimed that because of the libelous articles, her firm stands to lose P1-million in revenues.

Jing Villamente

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