MANILA, Philippines - After filing a graft case against former military budget officer George Rabusa before the Office of the Ombudsman, former Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes is again suing Rabusa, this time for libel before the Quezon City Prosecutor's Office.
His lawyer, Atty. Bonifacio Alentajan, said the complaint stems from Rabusa's statements in an interview on ANC's Headstart where he allegedly deliberately and maliciously made defamatory imputations against Reyes and his wife, Teresita Reyes.
In the interview, Rabusa said he gave Mrs. Reyes at least P20,000 in pocket money for local travel and up to $10,000 for foreign trips. He said he usually gave the money personally to Mrs. Reyes or to a trusted aide. (Related story: Reyes's wife, kids also got AFP money - Rabusa)
"We don't give her regularly or monthly. Pag may travel ganun. Pag local travel, not less than P20,000. It could go up to P200,000 depende sa kasamang ladies. Sa abroad, ranging from $2,000 to $10,000 per trip lalo na pag sa US. Minsan over pa," he told "Headstart" host Karen Davila.
Rabusa also claimed that he spent an average of P8,000 for the “boys night out” of the Reyes children under what he called “special operations."
Alentajan said the statements constituted "defamatory imputation" that is false and malicious because it caused dishonor, defamation, embarrassment and public humiliation to Reyes, his wife and children as this was televised nationwide.
Reyes on Monday filed graft charges against Rabusa and Sen. Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada for accusing him of corruption during the recent Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing.
Alentajan said there was obvious collusion between Estrada and Rabusa after the latter accused Reyes of pocketing at least P50 million in military funds when he stepped down as AFP chief.