• TV news anchorman slapped with libel suit

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    A libel suit was slapped against television news anchorman Ted Failon and a barangay (village) chairman over allegedly felonious statements made in several episodes of the broadcaster’s television and radio programs against a high-end resort on Boracay island in Aklan province.

    In a nine-page affidavit, Crisostomo  Aquino, president and CEO of Boracay Island West Cove Management Philippines Inc. (West Cove),accused Failon of using foul language and malicious imputations that defamed, maligned  and besmirched his character and Boracay West Cove.

    Maylynn Aguirre Graf,  chairman of Barangay Motag, was also named respondent after allegedly uttering libelous remarks when interviewed by Failon in the March 28, 2015 episode of the program “Failon: Ngayon.”

    Aquino said Boracay West Cove is groping in the dark on why Failon has declared a personal war against it since there was no animosity existing past or present between the broadcaster and the resort owners.

    “Boracay West Cove can only surmise that there is an invisible hand, a mafia-like godfather who is wielding power pulling strings to achieve a desired end and using Ted Failon as an unknowing pawn,’’ he stated in his complaint.

    Aquino claimed that Failon entered the “golden loop, fell into the trap and became a blind jockey, a mouthpiece and a willing foot soldier to fight for the selfish cause of Mayor Virgilio Bote.”

    Bote is the incumbent mayor of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija, and the chairman and CEO of Agusa Tiera Oro Mina Development Corp., which has a vast financial and property interest in Boracay.

    In Aquino’s complaint, Bote was described as having allegedly falsified public documents for the issuance of fake TCT No. T-41469 and OCT No. P-16 for some lots in Boracay as a case between the two was pending before the Court of Appeals.

    The complaint described Bote as the alleged owner of a land adjacent to Boracay West Cove.

    In several episodes of “Failon Ngayon,’’ Aquino said the popular broadcaster ridiculed him and labeled Boracay West Cove as “mother of all violators.”

    He claimed that Graf, also  an officer of Boracay Foundation, uttered innuendos and other libelous remarks against him and Boracay West Cove over national television in the same program.

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