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V Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC)

V National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)



Kabayan Forum






Tel no


30 July 2005

Detractors of Vice President Noli de Castro who emerged at the height of the campaign period for the May 10, 2004 elections reportedly in hiding, away from the libel charges that the Vice President filed against them.

A certain Andrew M. Gonzales, who claimed to be the National Director of the "Bagong Lahing Pilipino Development Foundation Inc.", came out with public statements accusing then Senator and Vice Presidential candidate Noli de Castro of extortion. Gonzales alleged that while de Castro was still the anchor of his weekly public affairs and investigative news program "Magandang Gabi Bayan" (MGB), he gave their organization "bad press" in one of MGB’s feature stories after they refused de Castro’s alleged attempt to extort P3.5 million from them. Gonzales’ story came out in various news publications during de Castro’s campaign for the Vice Presidency.

MGB was de Castro’s banner program when he was still a broadcaster. As the anchor of MGB, de Castro endeared himself to the Filipino audience as their "Kabayan".

After publicly and categorically denying these accusations, de Castro filed a libel case against Gonzales. While the case had been filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City by the City Prosecutor’s Office as early as May 5 of last year, Gonzales has yet to appear before the court and face the charges leveled against him. This was a complete turnaround from his stance during the preliminary investigation of the case during the height of the campaign, when he showed an apparent readiness to face de Castro’s suit. A warrant had been issued for the arrest of Gonzales, but he has eluded arrest for lack of information as to his whereabouts.

Another of de Castro’s detractor’s, Rafael T. Engle, has also been charged with libel before the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City. Engle also publicly accused De Castro of trying to extort P2 million from him, supposedly in exchange for a favorable feature on an MGB story on the disappearance of Engle’s wife. De Castro also denied Engle’s accusations, which saw print in major news dailies.

As with Gonzales, Engle came out with his accusations against de Castro during the campaign period for the May 2004 elections. Also like Gonzales, a warrant of arrest had also been issued against Engle after he failed to appear in a recent hearing of his case.

The lead lawyer of de Castro in these libel cases, Atty. Armando M. Marcelo of the Andres Marcelo Padernal Guerrero and Paras Law Offices, seeks the public’s assistance for any information on the whereabouts of Gonzales & Engle, who have outstanding warrants of arrest issued against them. "People cannot just be allowed to smear someone else’s reputation and run away from the consequences of such illegal actions. To clear the Vice President’s name and reputation is the end desired in these libel cases," Atty. Marcelo said.                                                                                             HOME | back-to-top

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