Paolo Duterte vows to provide legal help to Davao-based journo

DAVAO City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte said that he will give legal support to a Davao-based media practitioner who is being threatened with libel by the camp of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for exposing the senator's offshore bank accounts.

"Mr. Ben Tesiorna, I will provide you with all the lawyers needed regarding your problem," Duterte said in a media briefing on Tuesday, September 12.

Tesiorna, the writer behind the online news Davao Breaking News, posted offshore bank accounts of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV on the website.

In a media interview Tuesday, Tesiorna said the camp of Trillanes has the right to file charges, against him, but in the same interview he clarified that he only did his job as a journalist.

“'Tong gipakita niya (Trillanes) nga fake, those are the typewritten nga wala namo gi-post sa website so two different things, ang gi-post namo mao ang authentic bank documents nga naay stamp nga gidawat ang $50 deposit under the name of Trillanes, so yun, so what’s fake news about that? (Those shown by Trillanes that were fake, those are typewritten which we did not post in the website, so those two are different, we posted authentic bank documents, which has a stamp that a $50 deposit was received under the name of Trillanes, so what's the fake news about that?),” Tesiorna said.

Tesiorna said that his lawyer is now preparing for the case.

Aside from Tesiorna, Trillanes also said that he is thinking of filing a libel case against Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and broadcaster Erwin Tulfo who posted also on their personal Facebook pages his alleged bank accounts.