A reporter for the Zambales Herald, Adrian Montallana, posted bail after a warrant for his arrest was issued by Regional Trial Court 72 Judge Richard A. Paradeza for a charge of unjust vexation.
Montallana, along with Philippine Inquirer correspondent Joanna Aglibot were earlier sued for cyber libel by Siegfred Gonzales, councilman of Barangay San Miguel in San Antonio, Zambales.
Prosecutor Marey Beth Marzan dismissed the case against Aglibot.
However, she downgraded the charge against Montallana to unjust vexation.
The case stemmed from a Facebook post by Montallana, who was then working for Subic E-Radio, on which he shared a Rappler story, “Zambales village official in hot water for verbally assaulting Inquirer reporter,” accompanying it with this caption:
“Ang pagkitil sa kalayaang mamahayag ay parang pagkitil niyo na rin po sa buhay naming mga media. Ang katotohanan lamang po ang syang nais namin at nawa’y sana maintindihan niyo po ang kaparusahan ng inyong ginawa. Patuloy po kaming magbabalita at ihahayag ang buong katotohanan dahil para sa amin ito ang dapat manaig. Sasamahan namin ang aming kasamahan na si Joanna Aglibot sa kanyang laban.”
The article was about Gonzales’ alleged verbal assault on Aglibot and her family, for which the village official apologizes before the cyber libel case he filed against her was dismissed.
NUJP Safety Office