Daughter hospitalized because of reports, Napoles says
MANILA - Fugitive Janet Lim Napoles has filed 4 libel cases against journalists, a blogger, and a fashion designer for reports on the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, a media watchdog said Tuesday.
Napoles, who is now wanted by authorities for alleged serious illegal detention, wants a total of P40 million in damages and attorneys' fees if the respondents are found guilty, or P10 million from each complaint.
The businesswoman initially filed libel complaints in the Office of the City Prosecutor in Taguig on August 6, according to the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR).
One case was filed against Rappler online news reporter Natashya Gutierrez and another against lawyer-blogger Berteni Causing.
Napoles also filed 2 other libel complaints on August 7 against fashion designer Eduardo Baddeo, as well as Philippine Daily Inquirer publisher Raul Pangalangan; editors Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc and Jose Ma. D. Nolasco; and reporter Gil C. Cabacungan.
Baddeo gave interviews tagging Napoles in the alleged large-scale misuse of government funds, while Gutierrez and Causing wrote about the "lavish lifestyle" of Napoles' 23-year-old daughter Jeane, the CMFR said.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, meanwhile, published stories on Napoles' alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
Libel is a criminal offense in the Philippines, which can result in imprisonment for up to 6 years, a fine, or both.
Napoles claimed in her libel complaint against Gutierrez and Causing that her daughter had to be hospitalized because of the reports on her lifestyle.