Cruz laughs off libel case

This was the reaction of Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz, a staunch critic of  Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, to the government’s move reviving the libel case against him.

“The  Department of Justice (DOJ)  move is making me too important with  this revived case as there are one million and one cases that it has to look into,” Cruz said with a laugh.

He said the DOJ and the Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) are merely making an attempt to silence and intimidate him.

On Wednesday, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales reversed a decision made four years ago by a Manila city prosecutor junking a libel suit filed by female employees of Pagcor against Cruz.

Cruz said he will not stop criticizing the government for corruption as long as “cheating, lying and stealing” continue.

Prominent and veteran lawyer Estelito Mendoza has offered to defend Cruz in the libel case which stems from his published comment in the national dailies that Pagcor female employees were made to act like guest relations  officers  when they entertained guests for the birthday party of First Gentleman  Miguel  Arroyo.

The initial case was dropped by the prosecutor for lack of merits, specifically that no particular employee was identified.

The archbishop will be required to post a P10,000 bail  bond once the arrest warrant is issued.

“I thought I was worth more than that,” he said, again laughing. #

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