The camp of Vice President Leni Robredo has strongly denied the claim that it paid P100 to participants of the nationwide caravan held last October 23 in support of her and her running-mate Senator Francis Pangilinan.
Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s spokesperson, dismissed the allegation being disseminated on social media as “fake news,” adding that the Vice President’s campaign is being targeted because she is gaining momentum.
One of the individuals who are spreading this information is Manuel “Boy” Mejorada, a former provincial administrator of Iloilo who is now describing himself as a “freelance investigative journalist” and “blogger.”
Mejorada, it is worth pointing out, has been convicted of at least eight counts of libel and is currently facing jail time. In 2019, the second division of the Supreme Court upheld a Court of Appeals decision that found him guilty of four counts of libel as a result of his blogs and social media posts accusing Senator Franklin Drilon of corruption.
“The accusatory character of the subject articles, as well as petitioner’s failure to present any proof that the statements were based on established and documented facts, negates petitioner’s claim that the articles were made in good faith,” the Supreme Court ruled, adding that Mejorada’s conviction warrants imprisonment and not just a fine.
The full text of G.R. 245850, Mejorada vs. People of the Philippines, can be accessed here. Just last February, Judge Wilhelmina Jorge Wagan of Pasig City Regional Trial Court found Mejorada guilty of four more counts of libel which were also filed by Drilon.