The City Prosecutors’ Office of Quezon City has dismissed the libel charges Gretchen Fullido filed against ABS-CBN news executives Cecilia Victoria “Ces” Drilon and Marie Lozano.
According to the court, Drilon’s and Lozano’s statements were not defamatory or libelous. These “fall within the category of a conditionally or qualifiedly privileged communication.”
Referring to a Supreme Court ruling, the QC prosecutor’s office said, “Words which are merely insulting are not actionable as libel or slander per se…. The fact that the language is offensive to the plaintiff does not make it actionable by itself.”
On October 5, 2018, Fullido accused Drilon and Lozano of libel, along with Cheryl Favila and Maricar Asprec, who were both charged with sexual harassment.
Drilon’s allegedly libelous remark reads:
“Gretchen’s accusations of sexual harassment against [Favila and Asprec] also surprised me because many times…. I witnessed Ted Failon and Noli De Castro make side comments…. about Gretchen’s body, manner of dress, or behavior that, in my opinion, constituted sexual harassment or at least inappropriate behavior. But Gretchen Fullido only laughed off these comments. She never complained. One remark she made in one party struck me: She said she was willing to wear a bikini with an inflatable pool and bubbles on TV Patrol to shore up its ratings.”
“The first thing that came to mind as the reason why Gretchen filed a complaint is that she wanted to hold on to Star Patrol. Before all this, rumors were spreading that the time has come for her to be replaced after celebrity patroller started sitting in for Gretchen.”
According to the Manila Times, Fullido's lawyer will file "a motion for reconsideration or a petition for a review with the Secretary of Justice" in due time