Warrant of Arrest Issued to ABS-CBN Chairman Gabby Lopez and TV5 News Chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes on Libel Case Filed by GMA-7
The Quezon City Regional Trial Court, on Monday, February 18, has issued a warrant of arrest against ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III, ABS-CBN news journalists Lynda Jumilla, Maria Progena Estonillo Reyes, Annie Eugenio, Dondi Garcia, Jose Ramon Olives, Jesus Maderazo, and former ABS-CBN employees Erwin Tulfo, Beth Frondoso, Luis Alejandro, Jose Magsaysay Jr., Alfonso Marquez, and Luchi Cruz-Valdes who is now TV5's News Chief.
The warrant of arrest is in relation to the case filed by GMA-7 in 2004 against ABS-CBN and its employees for using its "exclusive coverage videos" of Iraqi abducted OFW Angelo dela Cruz's arrival in Manila which ABS-CBN claimed to be syndicated from international news agency Reuters.
Here is ABS-CBN's official statement regarding this case as released by the station's Head of ABS-CBN Integrated Corporate Communications, Bong R. Osorio:
The respondents to the libel case have voluntarily surrendered to the court and posted bail in accordance with law. They nevertheless firmly maintain that the libel charge has no basis in fact and law.
In truth, it was the complainant who used ABS-CBN footage without its authority and consent and was thus charged by ABS-CBN with copyright infringement.
It is unfortunate that the respondents are being pilloried as criminals, when in fact, it was ABS-CBN whose rights were violated. They are confident that this libel suit will eventually be dismissed."
The respondents will avail themselves of all legal remedies to question the findings of probable cause for the arrest warrants issued by the RTC of Quezon City."
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