November 13, 2006 · Posted in: In the News, Media

A death threat and an arrest attempt

TWO years ago, Romina “Mia” Gonzalez wrote an article on President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in Newsbreak magazine entitled “Will She Now Change?” using the byline Concepcion Paez.

Soon after, First Gentleman Mike Arroyo filed a libel suit against Paez for portraying him as “crooked”.

This morning, police came to the Malacañang press working area to arrest her. Gonzalez, a Business Mirror reporter and vice president for print of the Malacañang press corps, was not in the office at the time.

Arroyo had nothing to do with the arrest attempt, according to his lawyer Ruy Rondain.

“We are surprised that an arrest warrant was about to be served on Mia Gonzalez, our contributor. We, including our counsel, have not received a copy of the resolution from the court. We deplore the short cut in the legal process, a clear abuse of power.” said Newsbreak editor in chief Marites Dañguilan Vitug in a statement.

According to a memorandum of agreement signed between the Philippine National Police and the National Press Club, any arrest of a member of media should be coordinated with the NPC.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) also said in a statement that the arrest attempt was a “brazen violation of the freedom of the press.”

“That the attempt to arrest Gonzales was made right inside the Palace grounds, which is not only her workplace but also home of her accuser and his powerful spouse, the President of the Republic of the Philippines, cannot but make us suspect that this was a deliberate attempt to send a chilling warning to journalists that no place is sacrosanct when it comes to appeasing the whims of the mighty,” the statement added.

Gonzalez is among the 43 journalists facing libel suits filed by the First Gentleman.

Malaya senior reporter and columnist Ellen Tordesillas, who was reinstated in another libel case filed by Arroyo, received an e-mailed death threat last Sunday.

“What kind of death do you prefer? To die of cancer? To die of accident? To die of ambush? To die of heart attack due to your libel suit? Masyado kang matapang ha? Puro banat mo sa Pangulo dahil hindi ka napartehan ng gracia kahit kaunti. (You’re too courageous. You keep on criticizing the President because you weren’t given even the slightest bit of payback.) Your days are numbered.” read the threat.

Rather than proceeding with a “libel spree”, the NUJP said that Arroyo and his wife should face the issues raised against them in the venue where they are best addressed — “the arena of free and democratic discourse.”

20 Responses to A death threat and an arrest attempt



November 13th, 2006 at 9:26 pm

tingnan mo nga naman kung gaano kagarapal etong mga pulis na parang naging mga robot ni jose pidal. pati ba naman sa malacanang nag-iisue ng warrant of arrest? kung hindi ba naman bastusan republic talaga. at take note na meron pang MOA ang PNP at NPC tungkol sa pag-aaresto ng mga media people ha. of course, ang purpose ay para ipahiya ang tao. and as usual, ang palusot ng kampo ni pidal wala silang alam sa aksyon ng mga pulis. parang yung warrant of arrest kay jinggoy a. baka madulas rin ang dila ng mga pulis diyan at masabing “ano ang sasabihin naming sa malacanyanayan?”



November 13th, 2006 at 10:46 pm

If our Libel and Slander laws still under the criminal code and our politicians have the same mentality as the Philippines’or even it is under the common law, there will be few of our journalists and our reporters left without out being sued for Libel, but so far I have not heard a single politician doing so. But more often the case the politicians, ended up getting the sharp end of the stick. Once the allegation of wrongdoings is exposed or alleged by an investigative reporter(s), usually it can not be ignored either by the police authorities or the Public. If evidence not sufficient to file criminal charges for alleged wrongdoings, doesn’t mean the exposee is malicious, not just serious enough and no ground for libel or slander lawsuits in return by politicians, just vindication and re-election or return to a suspended position. Contrast it…



November 13th, 2006 at 10:56 pm

Mike Arroyo is not a politician, but he is involve in the business, so much so that he will be closely scrutinized by the authorities for all the actions and personal transactions he undertakes involving the funds of the government, other than the officially authorized for the First Family.

And why do you need a physical arrest for such a minor charge? why can’t they just deliver the warrant by mail or email or by Fed-EX? Too much drama..



November 13th, 2006 at 11:44 pm

writer lang naman ang kaya ni jose pidal, humanap naman siya ng katapat niya.



November 14th, 2006 at 7:19 am

ano’ng freedom of the press, freedom of the press???

freedom of the pulees, ini!!!


kung nga kumbento na ang nananahan ay mga holy ay nilulusob,
malacañang pa kaya na ang nakatira ay di umaamin (sa mga kasalanan) kahit na dati nang nahuli???



November 14th, 2006 at 2:29 pm

I think that just as to much power corrupts, jornalist too can’t at all be excempted from responsibilities.
I think the case of Mike Arroyo is a simple case of a “private” citizen seeking his rights too through the system. I think anybody has that basic right.Just can’t understand why make such a fuzz.
A journalist rights does not cancel out other peoples right!
I think a journalist is also human & is therefore not excempt from faults, shortcommings or failures, unless journalist belong to another race.
Let’s face it. Jornalissim in order to sell in this God forsaken country thrives on bad news & intrigue & surely so much incomplete information w/c is delivered by humans who are subject to presures & ambitions & large egos.
I just hope we stop kidding ourselves about the media being the source of the “so called truth”.
let’s face it. There is so much “half truths” & so much partisan things going around. But to say “truth” one has really has to be naive.
There are still so much more media people who don’t get sued for libel. Does that mean that they say less tuths then the others?
While there are those few who do get sued. Perhaps most of the time they tend to be those who are relativly young in the industry & obviosly are agressive & ambitious..
I think insted of generalizing things. Journalist must be more concerned w/ responsibility & taking the consequence of things as real men. Insted of being there screming & shouting like lil children na nag hahanap ng kakampi.



November 14th, 2006 at 10:22 pm

You are perfectly right there joselu!! Too much power corrupts and just who got too much power anyways? That is a very good question to start with. The journalists may have, let’s admit it, a number of them gone overboard, some for their personal interest, no question about it, some are being used, but majority of them are doing it, for the call of their profession and let us also admit it that there are lot of skeletons in the Governments and all its closet that there are not enough journalists and reporters to expose them, because most of them are either scared, fear for their personal safety or let us also admit it a lot of them are also being bribe, but then a lot of them were already physically eliminated if we can count them, they are already in numbers that ranks the Country in the Top other than Iraq considering that Iraq is in state of War. So my question again is who is in possession of too much power in our case. The journalists or the Administration? If too much power corrupts, then that is where the Corruption emanate. And I bet it is the Administration who has too much power, and it Corrupts..



November 15th, 2006 at 12:17 pm


your naivete is refreshing… the husband of the chief executive is a private citizen?


plus, where do you think the saying “caesar’s wife must be above reproach” come from?



November 15th, 2006 at 2:24 pm

so journalism is very bad in this God forsaken country huh! journalist here are very bad, ambitious and very irresponsible (except for the Star and belinda cunanan). are you really reading what journalists in other democratic countries are doing? how they lampoon govt officials/politicians and their spouses (like your “ordinary private citizen” jose pidal) whenever something fishy and smelly is going on? and what is your idea of good journalism? zipped mouth, blindfolded eyes, bounded hands and covered ears? no exposes, no mean words only praises? and if they do, eliminate them (which is okay for you because they deserve it anyway as in your earlier comments) just like the case of so many dead “irresponsible” journalists here. bravura joselu.



November 15th, 2006 at 6:52 pm

fg may not be a public official but he is certainly a public figure…and i’m NOT a huge fan of him, mind you…(pun unintended)…

i think there’s wisdom in senator “dirty harry” lim’s proposed law two years ago decriminalizing libel on public officials. he proposed that a civil suit may only be filed instead. now that this happened (possibly overstretching the limits of the libel law), the bill may probably encompass all who are known to be public figures, senator lim has said in a radio interview. if only the hearings for the bill would take place…


i gather from this quote that a free press (tri-media) is what everyone is praying for:

“Broadcasters, just as other media practitioners…have become dangerous men and women to those who have unlawful secrets to hide and to those who have the dark mind to silence the seekers of the truth…”

yes, a free press is a THREAT to the evildoers to ARREST their evil deeds…

unfortunately, the one who uttered such line is fg’s wife herself…back in 2003 when she’s still in love with the press


November 15th, 2006 at 7:32 pm

Simple lang naman to e bakit pinapagulo?

Bakit yung mga press pag kinasuhan ang sagot agad nila paninikil sa freedom of the press? Hindi bat yung libel o pagsasampa ng kaso sa husgado ay isang karapatang pantao na ginagarantiyahn ng batas tulad din ng pag garantiya ng batas sa freedom of the press? Samakatuwid ang tamang venue niyan ay sa hukuman. Bakit ba tayong mga pinoy ang bilis humusga? E hindi bat meron tayong hukom na siyang huhusga?

Ang mga reporter alam na nila yan sa simula pa na ang makasuhan ay kaugnay na ng trabaho nila, e bakit pa sila nagrereklamo na makasuhan? Wala namang masama kung saan man huluhin ng pulis ang may warrant of arrest, ke sa malakanyang, ke sa eskuwater pa yan, eh ganyan ang trabaho ng pulis, ang mag patupad ng warrant. Meron naman talagang warrant diba? Ang masama eh kung walang warrant tapos huhulihin, dun dapat magreklamo o magtago ka pa kung gusto mo. Pero kung may warrant aba eh naayon na yun sa batas. Ang dapat na ginagawa ng mga reporter eh ipresent ni lang sarili nila at mag “bail”, o hayan e di maayos, habang naghihintay ng husga ng hukom.

Ang gusto ng reporter mga storyang malalaki, kasi gusting simikat eh, e siempre pag malaki yung isda madami yang kaliskis na malalaki, aba e dapat humanda ang reporter sa mga kaliskis ng warrant dahil isa yan sa mga panlaban ng mga sinusundot nila. Eh naayon ba yun sa batas? E siempre pa, so dapat wag silang magreklamo at magpasakop sila sa batas.

O, yung mga memorandum of agreement na PNP at NPC, eh ano ba yun? Yun ba ay enforceable sa batas? Aba! Kelan pa naging batas yun? Eh hindi na kailangan yun dahil sapat na ang batas eh. Nangingibabaw ba ang memorandum keysa sa batas? Sus! Ginoo! Ang dami ng ngang bat as nag gagawa pa ng memorandum, ay sus! Kaya ayan lalong gumugulo!

Isa lang naman ang dapat gawin ng mga reporter e yun eh ”magpasakop sa batas na kanilang pinaglalaban (kuno)”! Pag hinuli ng pulis na may warrant e wag ng pumalag kasi may warrant e, sumama ng maayos at kontakin agad ang kanilang mga abogado para paghandaan ang depensa nila. Dapat pa bang pag usapan kung papano siya huhulihin o pag bibigyan ng warrant?

Pinoy nga naman, kakaiba talaga!



November 15th, 2006 at 9:23 pm

paano naging simple ‘ka mo? eh, titimbre lang pala dapat (ang mga pulis) kay bunye…‘di sana wala ng balitang ganito.

…o baka naman ‘di mo rin pinaniniwalaan ang sinasabi ni bunye…gaya ko…

Pinoy ka rin pala…‘di naiiba.



November 15th, 2006 at 9:51 pm

pinoy ka nga dahil balewala sa yo ang isang MOA. paraki pa na pumirma ka sa MOA kung hindi mo kayang pahalagahan eto? unless merong tumatakot sa yo para labagin eto at ipawalang bahala. sa ibang bansa o sa business community pag nilabag mo ang isang MOA malaking mawawala sa yo dahil iyan ay isang binding agreement (isang kontrata) na hindi puedeng balewalain. dito sa usaping eto between PNP at NPC sabihin na nating it’s a gentleman’s agreement. kung ikaw ang nakapirma doon kaibigan ano ang gagawin mo? may palabra de honor ka ba?


November 16th, 2006 at 6:17 pm

Baycas ang ibig sabihin ng presence ng warrant ay naayon sa batas, ke me timbre o wala naaayon pa din sa batas na iserbisyo yun kahin saang lupalop pa un. kahit sino pwede mag timbre basta may warrant, kahit si bunye, kahit ikaw. Ano pa ba ang dapat na tanungin sa legalidad nun? Simple lang diba?

Jrlad ang nabanggit na MOA ay hindi kontrata na enforceable sa batas. Merong batas na dapat sundin. Wag magtago sa likod ng palabra de honor kung merong batas na siyang naaayon. Iyang MOA na yan ay nagpapagulo ng dapat ay simpleng pagpapatupad ng batas.



November 16th, 2006 at 8:01 pm

“According to a memorandum of agreement signed between the Philippine National Police and the National Press Club, any arrest of a member of media should be coordinated with the NPC.”, mahirap ba intindihin yang nakasulat sa itaas? sayo siguro balewala at pangpagulo ang MOA. obviously, para sa pamunuan ng PNP at NPC eto ay may magandang dahilan kaya sila pumasok sa ganitong kasunduan (pangunahin na ang kampanya ng pulisya laban sa krimen sa tulong ng media)kaya hindi naman siguro tanga ang mga yan, ano sa palagay mo? at sabi ko nga para ano pa na papasok ka sa isang kasunduan na hindi mo naman pala kayang tuparin?

tungkol naman sa sinasabi mong pag may warrant of arrest, naaayun sa batas at kahit saan puedeng manghuli etong mga robot na pulis ni jose pidal, matanong nga kita, noong mga nakaraang buwan meron isang senador na kinasuhan ng libel din ni jose pidal. nagkaroon ng warrant ang mga pulis at sumugod sa senado at inaaresto yung senador. tama ba yung ginawa ng mga robot na pulis ni jose pidal? anong sabi nila sa mga senador ng hinarang sila? “anong sasabihin namin sa malacanyanayan?”



November 17th, 2006 at 1:35 am


sa malacañang kasi ginawa ang tangkang pag-aresto…bakit kailangang pagalitan ang mga pulis at kailangang ikondena ang paghain ng mandamiento de arresto?

gano’n kasimple…kung hindi nagkamali ang mga pulis (na nagmistulang mga robot, ‘ika nga ni jr), eh ‘di, walang masamang balita…at wala na sana tayong pag-uusapan dito.

maaari naman nilang ihain sa bahay ni mia…o kaya nama’y sumunod na lang sa mga alituntunin o protocol sa malacañang…dapat rin nilang gawin ito na naka-uniporme…

nakadududang isipin na may pang-aabuso sa kapangyarihan at may balakin silang manghiya, manakot, at manlinlang ng kapuwa nila Pinoy…kakaiba rin sila, ‘no?


November 19th, 2006 at 9:19 pm


sa pagkakaalam ko hindi pwedeng huihin ang isang senador sa chamber lalo na at may session, ayun yan sa batas. Pero walang batas na nag sasabi na bawal manghuli sa malakanyang. Iyun ang pagkakaiba. Nakita mo na?

Yung MOA na yan ay isang pagtatangka ng pagbibigay ng pabor sa mga press people. Dapat pantay pantay ang tao sa mata ng batas. Sa ganang akin ang MOA na yan ay hindi karapatdapat at isang uri ng hindi pagkakapantay ng pagpapatupad ng batas. Kaya ang suma nun pampagulo lang yun. Nakita mo na yun? Ang ibig sabihin kung batas ang pag uusapan wala ng binatbat ang iyung panukala. ganun lang yun ka simple.

Kung totoong may pwersa ang MOA at sa tingin ng NPC ay malaking kabuktutuan ng pulis ang nangyari eh bakit hindi nila ngayon dalhin sa korte ang usapin na iyan? Hindi nila magawa dahil ang isang MOA na pinagsisigawan nila ay wala namang ngipin and legaly not binding.


Hindi naman siguro tanga si Pidal na tumae sa bakuran niya, kasi alam niya na maaamoy ang baho nun. Kung engot ang mga pulis na yan, eh ibang usapan na yan, marami talagang engot na pulis eh. Pero ang pinaguusapan dito ay kung legal ba yun pag tatangka ng arrest o par serve ng warant dun. Kung susurin ang batas na nakapaikot eh maliwanag nakalalamang na legal yun.



November 21st, 2006 at 6:38 pm


so hindi mo alam katulad ng mga engot na pulis na ang mga senador ay may immunity or hindi puedeng arestuhin kapag ang krimeng nagawa ng mga eto ay may pataw lamang na 6 years pababa kagaya ng libel? pero sinabi mo sa itaas na kapag may warrant of arrest kahit sang lupalop puedeng manghuli etong mga pulis patula. eh kung kagaya ka ni lito lapid di ok lang pala sayo na sumama sa mga pulis dahil may hawak na warrant at yun lang ang batas na alam mo.

walang nagdidispute sa pagpapatupad ng batas na sinasabi mo tungkol sa warrant of arrest (hindi ko na ipipilit ang MOA dahil balewala naman sa yo ang kahulugan neto). ang pinag-uusapan dito ay ang manner ng pagpatupad nito. siguro naman hindi lahat ng tao ay kasing inosente mo or kasing engot ng mga pulis na nagserve ng warrant para sabihing “no big deal” o walang malisya at simple lang ang ginawa nilang pagpatupad sa batas sa pagsugod sa malacanang na puede namang sa bahay ng reporter ginawa katulad ng sinabi ni baycas o doon sa opisina ng pahayagan neto na ni walang kopya ng court resolution sa kasong 2004 pa naifile sa korte. sabi nga rin pala ni pareng tuting (ow?) naiwasan rin sanang lumikha ng malaking ingay kung “tumimbre” lamang ang mga pulis sa malacanang. gets mo ba ang ibig naming sabihin?

imagine, say sa US ang libel ay isang criminal offense at ang isang white house reporter ay inaresto sa white house dahil sa kasong libelo na isinampa ni ginang Laura Bush. no big deal din kaya eto sa mga tao doon lalo na sa mga taga media or maging mainit din ang usapin tungkol dito at mag-sisigaw din sila na eto ay isang pananakot at pambubusal sa media? yan lang naman ang puntong tinutumbok namin dito dahil sa pilipinas ang libel ay isang criminal offense kumpara sa ibang demokratikong bansa na under sa civil cases lamang. nakita mo ba ang pagkakaiba? sa tingin mo ba hindi puedeng magamit eto na panakot, panghiya at panglinlang ika nga ni baycas ng mga “makapangyarihang” tao kagay ni jose pidal laban sa media upang manahimik na lamang yung huli sa halip na mag-imbestiga at maipaalam sa publiko ang mga katiwalian ng mga opisyal sa gobyerno sampu ng mga kapamilya nila? paano ba nayari si erap? simple lang naman ang ibig naming sabihin di ba? or di mo talaga magets?



November 21st, 2006 at 7:47 pm




January 11th, 2007 at 12:56 am

Arrested for libel?
in my personal opinion the Phils is definitly out-of-date, with regards to world’s freedom of speech history, ONLY

-totalitarian systems (Stalin, Hitler, Talibans, Mao),
– Dictatorships (Pinochet, Saddam, Castro, Kim Il Sung, Marcos),
– absolute monarchies ou empires (french, english, austrian, german)

have their opposition silenced through sophisticated means (law suits,exile) or blunt manners (summary executions, asasinations).

TODAY there are much more countries which prone democracy but cannot or do not ensure the basic civil rights such as freedom of speech and opinion.

WHY are the PHils condemned to live a century of “Democracy-light”?

I live IN FRANCE. If you watch the Guignols de l’info (copy paste your ITUBE… to see it), you’ll be stunned to see haw Chirac, his wife, Bush and consors are mocked and lapidated every night.
If you prefer english… watch exerps from the Daily Show with Jon Stewart who constantly satires the Bush Administration.

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