Supreme Court Dismisses Contempt Charges Against GMA Network

The Supreme Court (SC) absolved broadcast giant GMA Network, its news editors Raffy Jimenez and Victor Sollorano and field reporter for the Judiciary Sophia Dedace from the contempt petition filed by Atty. Sigfrid Fortun, counsel for the Ampatuans in the “Mindanao Massacre” case.


Fortun filed a case against GMA Network and other media entities namely ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer and Philippine Star, several medium groups and personalities, and Mangudadatu lawyer Atty. Jesusa Quinsayas, et al. after the said media outfits published the disbarment complaint of Quinsayas against Fortun in November 2010. The disbarment case against Fortun is still pending before the SC.

It was claimed by Fortun that Quinsayas, et al. violated the confidential nature of disbarment proceedings by actively disseminating the disbarment complaint, and that the media groups and personalities acted in conspiracy with her through the publication of the confidential materials on their respective media platforms.

In its Decision dated February 13, 2013, the SC, through Associate Justice Antonio Carpio, held that Fortun failed to prove that the respondents, with the exception of Quinsayas, participated in the dissemination and publication of the disbarment complaint against him.

Further, considering that the publication of the stories were completed after Quinsayas distributed copies of the complaint, it was concluded that members of the media who reported the news item and the media groups that published it on their website, including GMA Network, did not violate the confidentiality rule on disbarment proceedings.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court found Quinsayas liable for indirect contempt and was fined P20,000.

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