DOJ prosecutor blasts bribery allegations

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 08 2014 11:59 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2014 07:59 AM

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MANILA - Irresponsible journalism.

This is how Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon describes the ABS-CBN News report about a notebook that listed people who have been allegedly bribed to jeopardize the Maguindanao massacre case.

That notebook contains handwritten names of Department of Justice (DOJ) officials and state prosecutors who were supposedly paid off by the Ampatuans.

Fadullon was named in the report.
He questioned why the news report was allowed to air, even when the information was not verified, or without even talking to the one who allegedly wrote the entries himself -- lawyer Arnel Manaloto.

The woman who now possesses the notebook has described Manaloto as her friend.
Fadullon said it's not even clear what the entries in the notebook mean, but the conclusion made was malicious.
"I find that report very irresponsible, very unprofessional. It becomes doubly irresponsible when the one who reports it doesn't take time to validate the information -- that's what I call irresponsible journalism," he said.

Fadullon said such information should be treated with utmost responsibility because the lives and professional careers of DOJ officials and fiscals are at stake.
And even if his side was sought, Fadullon said it was still irresponsible and wrong to air an unverified story.

"Does that make it right to bring it out just because I was called? Does it validate it just because I was called? Who will we challenge? Who will we cross-examine? Who will we ask? The notebook? I am forced to fight a notebook now just because somebody says it comes from a credible source? Its crazy!" he said.

Fadullon is now contemplating on filing charges against the reporter and ABS-CBN.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the matter will be included in the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) probe on the issue.

The DOJ also maintains its position on what it calls ABS-CBN's "selective reporting" for naming only certain personalities in the so-called list.
The department said here is where the malice lies, as it appears specific individuals are being singled out. - with ANC