A regional trial court in Ilocos Sur court has ordered the arraignment of five editors and reporters of the news online magazine Newsbreak in connection with a libel complaint filed by incumbent Ilocos Sur Governor Luis “Chavit” Singson.

The complaint stemmed from a print-edition story that Newsbreak ran in 2006 about the business interests and alleged involvement in smuggling and gambling operations of Singson, at the time a close associate of then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Saying the story had maligned him, Singson filed suit against Newsbreak editors Marites Danguilan-Vitug and Gemma Bagauaya; reporters Aries Rufo and Lala Rimando; and board member Ma-an Hontiveros.

Regional Trial Court Branch 21 Judge Cecilia Corazon Dulay-Archog of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, scheduled the arraignment of the five Newsbreak staffers before her sala on Sept. 13, 2011. In ordering the arraignment, Dulay-Archog junked an earlier motion to withdraw the case that the Vigan City prosecutor had filed.

The Department of Justice had also issued earlier a resolution junking the libel complaint, Newsbreak reported.

Read the Newsbreak report here:

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