According to a report by Balitanghali, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) officially read the libel charges on Friday, June 14, against ABS-CBN Chairman Eugenio “Gabby” Lopez III, ABS-CBN news journalists Annie Eugenio, Dondi Garcia, Lynda Jumilla, Maria Progena Estonillo Reyes, Jose Ramon Olives, Jesus Maderazo, and former ABS-CBN employees Beth Frondoso, Erwin Tulfo, Luis Alejandro, Jose Magsaysay Jr., Alfonso Marquez, and Luchi Cruz-Valdes who is now TV5’s News Chief.
The charges were for the two counts of libel filed by GMA-7 in 2004 against the above-mentioned party after reporting in their primetime newscast that the Kapuso Network used the videos of their news coverage without permission and for using the words “nagnanakaw ng aming eksklusibong kuha” and other defamatory terms.
On July 22, 2004, ABS-CBN aired a breaking news featuring the arrival of OFW Angelo dela Cruz in Manila after being abducted by Iraqi militants. The same coverage videos also aired on GMA Flash Report on the same day prompting the Kapamilya network to report the incident as “copyright infringement.” The Kapuso network, however, claimed that the videos were syndicated from Reuters so there was no copyright violation committed.
GMA-7 deemed the report defamatory to the network that’s why they filed a libel case against the whole team behind ABS-CBN News including ABS-CBN chairman Gabby Lopez III.
Watch the news report of Balitanghali here:
Screencaps from TV Patrol and Balitanghali