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Some sound advice for journalists
« on: September 28, 2017, 02:22:43 AM »

from PCIJ, something for journalists that i find interesting.

Informed and ready

IF FACED with a libel charge, especially if intended to harass and silence critical reports, it would be wise for journalists to take note of the following:

1. Familiarize yourself with the Philippine libel law, including previous court rulings on libel. Also knowing how the legal system works would help you know what to expect and how to deal with the labyrinth called the Philippine judicial system.

2. Know in advance the lawyers who can help you, particularly those who have handled libel cases before. You may also want to get somebody with extensive experience on human rights or media law.

3. If a libel complaint against you has been filed with the prosecutor, file a counter-affidavit stating your good intentions and justifiable motives for writing the article concerned. And the complainant files a reply, then be ready with your own rejoinder.

4. If the prosecutor resolves the complaint in favor of the complainant, you may want to file a Petition for Review with the justice department.

5. The bail for libel case is P10,000 for every count. Have the amount ready if you feel that the prosecutor will decide against you. Once you learn that a warrant has been issued, you can go and post bail, together with your lawyer, without waiting for the warrant to be served. It may also be practical to get a copy of the form for posting bail in advance. Find out in advance as well where you need to post the bail, especially if the warrant is served after the end of the business hours. The point is not to spend a minute in jail and having the form ready and knowing where to go would save time.

6. While the legal steps are important, sometimes extra-legal actions go a long way in pressuring the complainant to withdraw or create a condition that would lead to a favorable decision.

7. Mobilize media organizations for support – local ones like the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and Center for Media Freedom and responsibility, international ones like SEAPA, Article XIX, Committee to Protect Journalists, and Reporters Sans Frontieres.

8. If convicted by a trial court, don’t forget that you only have 15 days to file an appeal with the higher courts.

Republic Act 8485 (Animal Welfare Act of 1998, Philippines), as amended and strengthened by House  Bill 6893 of 2013--- violation means a maximum of P250,000 fine with a corresponding three-year jail term and a minimum of P30,000 fine and six months imprisonment

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