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Supreme Court upholds Drilon critic’s libel conviction with finality

The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld with finality the libel conviction of a former Iloilo provincial administrator and journalist over online posts accusing Senator Franklin Drilon of corruption.

The Special Second Division denied with finality the motion for reconsideration filed by Manuel "Boy" Mejorada, a critic of Drilon's, challenging the decision that affirmed his sentence of two to four years of imprisonment.

Mejorada failed to present any substantial argument that would make the court reconsider, according to the notice of a September 2 resolution.

The court said it will entertain no further pleadings in the case.

Mejorada was prosecuted for four "defamatory" articles he wrote in 2013 and 2014 that allegedly linked Drilon to corruption over the construction of the Iloilo Convention Center and other projects in Iloilo City.

The Pasay Regional Trial Court convicted him in 2017, a ruling that was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in 2018, and by the SC last June.

"The accusatory character of the subject articles, as well as petitioner's failure to present any proof that the statements were based on established and documented facts, negates petitioner's claim that the articles were made in good faith," the SC held in June.

Mejorada faces five more libel charges, according to Drilon's office. — BM, GMA News