Atty. Raymond Fortun
MANILA – Atty. Raymond Fortun cried foul over the online bashing that he received when he accepted the job of being the spokesman of businessman Cedric Lee, who was among those implicated in the beating of actor Vhong Navarro inside the condominium unit of model Deniece Cornejo in Taguig City.
In an interview with “Umagang Kay Ganda” on Monday, Fortun said he did not deserve all the invectives that were hurled at him and that he will not let the people destroy his reputation.
“Ang masakit dito, pagkatao ko ang binabanatan. That is the one that hurts the most. Sasabihin ganyan na pera pera lang daw ako. Hindi nila alam na ako ay nanggaling ako sa isang pamilya na parehong abogado. Ang tatay ko ay isang retired RTC judge na ni minsan ay hindi nagpabayad bilang judge. Kami po ay mahirap pa din dahil yung tatay ko ilang beses inalukan iyan na magpanalo ng kaso, ni minsan hindi siya tumanggap. Yung nanay ko po, hanggang 2 a.m. nagsasakripisyo para sa aming magkakapatid para maglagay ng pagkain sa aming mesa,” he said.
Fortun said he grew up in a family which values name and reputation over money.
“People have a right to express their opinions but if it comes down to hurling invectives at sirain ang aking pangalan na napakatagal kong pinaghirapan at matagal na pinaghirapan ng mga magulang ko, hindi ko na po matatanggap iyan. Sometimes, some things are not worth the time,” he said.
While admitting that he has unpopular clients, Fortun said he did not anticipate that some people would go to great lengths to personally attack him.
“Hindi ko inasahan yung katakot-takot na paninira na ginawa ng mga mamamayan. They need to understand that the right to freedom to express the opinion does not include the right to destroy the reputation for the wrong reasons. Hindi po kasama yung pagpapahayag ng pagmumura, yung paninira ng puri ng tao. For me, mas mabuti siguro na magbitiw na lang ako kasi I did not deserve what I got,” he said.
Fortun then urged the Supreme Court to hasten in resolving the constitutionality of the Anti-Cybercrime Law.
“Siguro dapat bilisan na nila ang pagresobla ng Constitutionality ng Cybercrime Law kasi kung meron niyan, sa palagay ko hindi ganito ang gagawin ng mga PIlipino. Magdadalawang isip sila bago magbitiw ng maaanghang na salita laban sa mga kapwa nila,” he said.
Fortun said the job of determining the guilt or innocence of an accused lies not in the hands of the public and that people should respect the constitutional guarantee of every person’s right to due process.
Fortun resigned as Lee's and Cornejo’s spokesman on Sunday following a statement made by Cornejo over the weekend that there was no malice in the new CCTV footage where Lee was seen kissing the 22-year-old model.
Fortun said Cornejo breached their agreement that nothing will be said in the media without his or their counsels’ permission.
“For me, you’re in a situation where the work of the counsels and even yung work nung spokesman is going to be compromised. Sometimes you just have to let go because at the end of the day, integrity pa rin for me is still important. For me mas mabuti na lang siguro na para wala ng patuloy na pagbabatikos,” he said.
His decision, Fortun said, saddened Lee.
“Malungkot siya (Lee) because the purpose for which I was hired was really to educate the public. Since wala na ako diyan, sino ba naman ang magpapatuloy na gagawa niyan? I told him that I cannot continue because I have failed. I see that people are not swayed. They apparently have already been poisoned into thinking that dapat dalahin na lang silang dalawa sa bilangguan, hindi na sila bibigyan ng pagkakataon na magprisinta ng ebidensya kasi may kanya kanyang opinyon ang mga tao,” he said.
Fortun served as Lee's and Cornejo’s spokesman for only 12 days.