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Saturday, March 08, 2008

QC-RTC denies GMA Network’s application for preliminary injunction

The regional trial court denied GMA Network’s application for a preliminary injunction which would have prevented ABS-CBN from broadcasting defamatory reports that GMA Network manipulated AGB television ratings.

The order was gi­ven by Judge Alexander Balut.

Balut is the third judge to preside over the case.

ABS-CBN had the two judges who earlier handled the case inhibit themselves.

Current Judge Ba­lut allowed what the pre­vious judge found irre­levant -- and that was to allow more testimonies from other ABS CBN informants.

In the hearing before judge Balut, these ABS-CBN informants admitted they had no proof of employment with GMA, no ID, no contracts.

In his order, Judge Balut said a preliminary injunction would interfere with ABS-CBN’s freedom of expression.

Reacting to the court’s ruling, GMA Network legal counsel Gener Asuncion said, “Freedom of expression does not mean they (ABS-CBN) have the right to destroy another’s reputation. An abuse of a freedom also destroys it.”

Nevertheless, Judge Balut’s order also warned ABS-CBN from using “free expression as an instrument to perpetrate unlawful ends to the obs­truction of the administration of justice.”

“This is not the end of the libel suit. ABS-CBN wanted the end of the TRO and they wanted to block the injunction because ABS-CBN wanted to continue attacking the reputation of GMA Network. We will try not to let them do this,” Asuncion said. [source of news]

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