MAGNO WINS DEFAMATION CASE VS. BALITA

  • Page Views 1512
  • Toronto, Ontario
    May 24, 2018

    The libel lawsuit brought by Oswald Magno against Balita, Balita Editor Tess Cusipag and Romeo Marquez has been resolved in Magno’s favor, bringing an end to a legal action marked by numerous delays.

    Justice Jane Ferguson of the Ontario Superior Court, in her decision dated May 23, 2018, found that the defendants have defamed Magno and awarded general, aggravated and punitive damages totaling $410,000, excluding legal costs.

    The case did not go to trial; instead Magno moved for summary judgment, which the Court granted.

    The judge described the words complained of by Magno, which were contained in 35 articles mostly written by Marquez and published by Balita over 14 months, as personal attacks driven by malice. The attacks were carried both in print and in cyberspace.
    Magno’s lawyer, David A. Potts, who is an author of several books on defamation, stated in an email that the damage award demonstrates the baselessness of the charges against Magno.

    “I am completely vindicated by this decision,” Magno writes in an email to this reporter. “It has taken almost 4 ½ years; nevertheless, justice has been served,” he added.

    Magno was one of the signatories to a petition advocating ethical and socially responsible journalism. Olivia Camacho, also a signatory to the petition, considers the result as a victory not only for Magno but for the community as well.

    Magno’s lawsuit is one of at least four libel actions instituted against Balita Media Inc., its Editor Cusipag and its reporter Marquez and is only the second to be adjudicated to-date.

    The first, instituted by the late Senator Tobias Enverga Jr. in 2013, was decided in July 2016. In that case, the media defendants were ordered to pay $250,000 in damages plus $90,000 in legal costs. Additional proceedings in the case resulted in aggregate damages, fines and indemnity for legal costs of over $410,000 and also in Cusipag receiving a 21-day jail sentence for criminal contempt.

    The damage awards in the Magno and Enverga cases are considered two of the largest ever awarded in defamation cases within an ethnic community, which may provide a benchmark for similar cases in the future.

    Reporting by Jose Victor (“Jayvee”) Salamena

    Share

    New Posts Recently publish post More

    • 29 July 2021
      5 days ago No comment

      With multiple medals, Tokyo 2020 an Olympic banner year for Philippines

      The Philippines will finish with multiple medals in the ongoing Olympics. This means that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics will represent a banner year for the country. The Philippine Daily Inquirer observed that this will be the first time since the Los Angeles 1932 Games that the Philippines will win ...

    • 22 July 2021
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Lolit Solis hints at Kris Aquino’s possible run in 2022

      Will Kris Aquino run in the national elections in 2022? This was the question of veteran entertainment journalist Lolit Solis who promised to vote for Kris should she decide to run in the national elections next year. But Lolit advised Kris not to run for mayor in Quezon City ...

    • 22 July 2021
      2 weeks ago No comment

      Philippines administers 15.6 million COVID-19 shots

      The Philippines has administered 15.6 million doses against the COVID-19 virus. Harry Roque, spokesperson of President Rodrigo Duterte, shared this number in a media briefing Wednesday (July 21). Of the 15.6 million does administered by the government, Roque said 10,585,261 million persons got their first dose. As well, 5,031,301 ...

    • 17 July 2021
      3 weeks ago No comment

      First Nations peoples condemn tweet on Church burnings

      At a press conference in Vancouver, Pentecostal assistant minister Jenn Allan-Riley, a 60s scoop survivor whose mother attended residential school, called for the wave of church arsons to stop. She adds that “Burning down churches is not in solidarity with us Indigenous people. As I said, we do not ...

    • 17 July 2021
      3 weeks ago No comment

      Paki-Ayos: A New Service for Filipinos in Canada

      Paki-Ayos Services Inc. will do errands for you in the Philippines Do you need something done in the Philippines, but air fare, accommodations, and pasalubong cost too much for you to go back home? A new service, Paki-Ayos, is here to help. Forget about going on a very expensive ...

    %d bloggers like this: