Muews Radio, owned by Arvin Malaza has sought the assistance of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines over the filing of 255 libel cases against him.
Malaza is accused of smearing the reputation of several individuals within the Digos City area – one in particular is the vice governor and the wife of a fellow broadcaster.
Malaza, also known as Jun Blanco, said he was being harassed for working as a journalist and that his station was ‘shut down’ because of it all.
The Digos City native’s trouble started in August when he began criticising former Davao del Sur Vice Governor Arsenio Latasa – he accused him of corruption and enriching himself while in office.
Malaza even went a step farther by accusing the ex-vice governor of ‘death squads’ by killing suspected criminals when he was mayor from 1992 to 2010.
In late August, Latasa filed the first 50 counts of libel against Malaza – he said that the number was based on the number of times he (Malaza) used baseless claims on the air.
“The broadcast was replayed several times over, during which he uttered personal and abusive tirades against me,” Latasa said.
He said Malaza continued criticising him. “On August 27 alone, he devoted all three hours of his programme to malign me,” he said.
The former official had filed the other cases on August 27, 28 and 31.
As of last Thurday, Latasa had filed 255 counts of libel against Malaza – several include accusations that Latasa had an affair with the wife of another broadcaster and most likely was the father of her child.
The wife of the broadcaster in question has filed 11 counts of libel against Malaza.
Several other individuals have also come forward saying that Malaza sullied their names, including Ma. Ana Sumatra, who filed a complaint against Malaza’s radio station for operating without a licence. She won and a June closure was implemented against the station.