Prosecutor junks Gretchen Fullido libel raps vs Ces Drilon, Marie Lozano

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 22 2019 10:38 AM | Updated as of Mar 22 2019 03:29 PM

(UPDATED) The Office of the Prosecutor of Quezon City has dismissed libel charges filed by ABS-CBN anchor Gretchen Fullido against ABS-CBN journalist Ces Drilon, ABS-CBN news reporter Marie Lozano, and ABS-CBN news executive Venancio Borromeo.

Prosecutors recommended the dismissal of the libel charges, saying the respective sworn statements of Drilon, Lozano and Borromeo about Fullido submitted to the ABS-CBN Ad Hoc Investigating Committee are "not defamatory."

"In our point of view, the person who executed the same is merely stating her opinion or observation. Also, relaying to another person words which you previously heard is not defamatory and malicious," the resolution on the complaint against Drilon read.

Fullido earlier filed sexual harassment charges against former TV Patrol supervising producer Cheryl Favila and segment producer Maricar Asprec, alleging they "sent her text messages that were loaded with sexual innuendos, which amounted to requests for sexual favors."

The management of ABS-CBN Corp found Favila liable for gross misconduct while dismissing the sexual harassment case against her, leading to her dismissal from the company.

Fullido also filed libel charges against Drilon, Lozano, and Borromeo for allegedly damaging her reputation when they said her administrative complaint was a way to leverage her employment status in the network. 

Fullido's lawyer Marvin Aceron earlier accused Drilon of victim-shaming when she submitted a sworn statement that said Fullido only laughed off comments about "her body, manner of dress or behavior that, in my opinion, constituted sexual harassment or at least inappropriate behavior." 

Drilon also recalled a statement made by Fullido that she was "willing to wear a bikini with an inflatable pool with bubbles to shove up the ratings of TV Patrol." 

Fullido accused Lozano of libel after the latter executed a sworn statement to the ABS-CBN Ad Hoc Investigating Committee, saying Fullido filed a complaint because "she wanted to hold on to Star Patrol."

"Before all this, rumors were spreading that the time has come for her to be replaced after celebrity patrollers started sitting in for Gretchen. The issue blew up after Kim Chiu whose stint was a trending topic said (in Mario Dumaual's report) that she was ready to do Star Patrol anytime," Lozano's statement read. 

Fullido's libel complaint against Borromeo similarly alleged that the news executive's statement in the Ad Hoc investigation besmirched her reputation.

Borromeo's statement, as cited in Fullido's complaint, read: "I consider Gretchen's complaint as a form of blackmail. She knows that at this time, there are so many who could take her place, particularly since she has never produced quality work. [Now] that she has filed a complaint against Supervising Producer of TV Patrol, she can delay or prevent her removal as Star Patroller."

In a separate resolution on Fullido's complaint against Borromeo, the Quezon City prosecutor's office noted that the latter "has a moral or social duty to make the [statement]," in light of the investigation.

"The statements were made in good faith since he (Borromeo) submitted it to the committee who, in respondent's opinion, could address the issue or issues confronting his colleagues. He did not indiscriminately circulate it to any other person," part of the resolution read.

Drilon has said it was "unthinkable" for her to "belittle" victims of sexual abuse as she was also a "victim of sexual harassment before."

"Throughout my life, I have been an advocate of women's rights and women's empowerment," she said in a statement. 

"It is unthinkable for me to say what Gretchen Fullido alleges," she said.

"I would never belittle any woman coming out to speak of any abuse committed against her. It is everything against I stand for as a woman," she said.

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