This "lawyer-blogger," as coined by Mrs. Janet Lim-Napoles, finally filed his Counter-Affidavit against her P40-million libel complaint.

Napoles, who is now detained at Port Sto. Domingo, Sta. Rosa, Laguna, charged that Causing, a veteran newsman-editor-turned-lawyer, committed libel when he wrote in two posted blogs her youngest daughter, Jeane Lim Napoles, displayed extremely lavish lifestyles in the United States of America (USA) during the period of acute public want among the Filipinos.

This blogger wrote that the money the daughter used in purchasing extraordinarily-expensive apparels must have come from the P10-billion PDAF money of the people stolen by Janet through connivance with senators, congressmen and several other officials of the government.

For those who are minded, you may read the Counter-Affidavit below.

Republic of the Philippines
Department of Justice
National Prosecution Service
Office of the City Prosecutor
Taguig City


          - versus -                                 NPS Dock. No. INV-13H-00890

Republic of the Philippines            )
City of Taguig                                 )SC

In the Name of The
People of the Philippines

          I, BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING, of legal age, whose office is located at Unit 1, No. 2368 Leon Guinto St. corner JB Roxas St., Malate, Manila, after having been sworn to in accordance with law, do hereby depose and state:

1.     The instant libel complaint must be thrown out or dismissed outright for utter lack of merit;

2.     First, there is no law, municipal or international, that defines jurisdictional rules on blogs or weblogs or articles that were posted on a website;

3.     Second, the very nature of blogs that cannot be dictated by law or any compulsory system is the fact that it can be posted in countries outside the Philippines yet it can be read in the Philippines;

4.     Third, the complainant was already a public figure when the blogs concerned here were published and that the complainant failed to discharge her duties to submit proof of actual malice;

5.     Fourth, the Fair Comments Doctrine applies on the case at bar and the complainant failed to discharge her obligation to submit proof of actual malice;

6.     Before the four points are discussed, let me lay down the following introduction:

The Prologue

          The respondent here has been a passionate lover of the freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press.

     To him, these freedoms are sacrosanct as the Constitution treats them that no law shall abridge them.

The respondent has been a journalist since 1989.   He was a sportswriter at first.   He rose to become a deskman of the news desk of People’s Journal Tonight, which holds the record as the biggest circulated in the Philippines in the 1990s, selling 400,000 copies a day despite the fact that it was only sold within Metro Manila being an afternoon newspaper.    In 1998, he was promoted to the position of news editor no less than by the most legendary press freedom fighter of all time, Joe Burgos Jr.   He left People’s Tonight in 2004 and became the managing editor of Kabayan English tabloid that was closed due to brushes with the Arroyo administration.      So that it is easy to see that the blood of a journalist and opinion writer cannot be separated from him.     It is in this context that the two controversial blogs involved in this case were written and published online.   It is therefore not connected to his being a lawyer.

To reiterate, the blog articles being referred to in this Complaint are all about freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press.  And if these are about these sacred rights that are among the highest in the tiers of human rights, how else could it be a source of a cause of action for disbarment or libel if there is no act of lying on the part of a lawyer-blogger? 

The complainant here also filed a disbarment complaint against the respondent before the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

Blogs not libelous

The two blog articles subjects of this complaint are NOT libelous, there being no malice, actual or otherwise.

In summary, the blogs merely expressed the opinions of the author based on the facts presented.  All these opinions are fair inferences from those facts presented.

And when examined, those facts presented that were used as the bases of the opinions are substantially true at the time they were published as integral parts of those blog articles.

To begin with, the blogs presented proofs of lavish lifestyle of the youngest daughter of the complainant, the intention was good. 

It was my perfect right to give opinions, no matter how harsh they may be.   At the same time, the blogs were also made to inform the people of the existence of this youngest daughter of a woman who has been denying the news articles released by Inquirer quoting reliable sources as saying that this woman, Janet Lim-Napoles, had been stealing public funds from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotted to legislators totaling to 10 billion.

To inform does not mean to induce. 

To inform is merely to inform.  With “to induce” is an act calculated in a manner that there is that conscious making of statements telling the people to believe in the writings because the factual recitals are true, tacitly or expressly.

Nevertheless, there is nothing wrong in inducing the people to believe in the cause being fought for.  This is activism.  This is advocacy.

Looking at the facts used by the respondent, these consisted of the photographs copied from the Tumblr account of the youngest daughter of Janet Lim Napoles.    

It is noted that the complainant has never denied that these photographs came from her daughter’s Tumblr account.      

To the contrary, the complainant even charges the respondent of stealing these photos from her youngest daughter, Jeane Lim Napoles.    

If she said it was stolen from her daughter’s Tumblr account, it means that the photos copied by the respondent are authentic.    

By the way, copying the photos of Jeane Lim Napoles from her Tumblr account can never said to be stealing: copying is one thing and stealing is another thing.    

The fact that her daughter even posted these photos in a public domain like the internet is in itself a proof that she has consented to the copying of her photos by others.     

The fact that it was copied is a proof that there was no privacy setting limiting it to be seen by persons other than the owner of the Tumblr account.    

It is as simple as this: a private setting in any account, Tumblr or Facebook, makes the contents of that private account invisible to persons other than the account owner. 

And if it cannot be viewed, then there is no possibility that other persons can copy the photos not viewed even if the link or the URL is attempted to be opened by any web browser.

Nevertheless, to settle the issue and conclude that these photographs were intended for the public consumption by the youngest daughter of the woman facing insurmountable evidence of plundering the pork barrel in at least 10 billion, let it be put on record that up this date, 7 October 2013, the same Tumblr account of Jeane Lim Napoles is still accessible at this link: The Office of the City Prosecutor must open this to confirm all my claims of facts in this counter-affidavit.

As to the Youtube video of the 21st birthday celebration of the youngest daughter of the complainant, this is not a private video.  The fact that I merely cited the video that was uploaded by somebody else is in itself a proof that the particular video was not private but intended for the public domain.

The video still exists for public consumption and it can be viewed by going to this link:

Strangely, the complainant claims these photos and video are private but they have not made any move to disable or to take down the postings of the Tumblr account photos and the video footage.  What she speaks therefore is opposite to her actions: doing nothing to take down those Tumblr photos and video.

Adding insult to the blatant display of arrogance by the complainant, is the fact that the Blogspot account of Jeane Lim Napoles,,  still exists even as I write this today, October 7, 2013. This Blogspot account contains the photographs of some other occasions of extreme lavish lifestyle, particularly Europe tours.  The particular page of her Blogspot account that shows her Paris tour is located at this link:

If the one professing as a victim of expressions of opinions based on the photographs and video has never even closed those accounts to hide them from the prying eyes of the public, then how can it be called libel to republish these photographs and videos?

The opinions I expressed in these blog articles are that Janet Lim-Napoles must have stolen the pork barrel in the amount of 10 billion because her youngest daughter, Jeane Lim Napoles, who was still very young to earn a very good living and must have had no work was already sporting apparels worth more than 1 million in one setting and going to where international celebrities were.

The opinions were also backed by another evidence of extremely lavish lifestyle in the period of acute public want, which is the Youtube video of her 21st birthday celebration where she seemingly legalized the money stolen by her mother.

Nevertheless, what is important now is that these facts showing extremely lavish lifestyles by any standard have been bolstered by the recent release by the Commission on Audit of findings that eight of bogus Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs) were either not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), having fictitious addresses and having interlocking directors.

The same COA report for the audits conducted for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 shows findings that Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of senators and representatives to the House of Representatives were channeled through these NGOs.

The same COA report can be viewed at this link:

The expressions of opinions are further backed by the Senate investigation report where the whistleblowers who were the leg men and women of Janet Lim-Napoles at her JLN Empire.

The full video live coverage of the Senate hearing with Benhur Luy, a cousin of Janet Lim-Napoles, is accessible at this link:

The full video of another day of Senate hearing on pork barrel scandal can be viewed in this website:

There are other Senate hearing videos and they all add up to the already-overwhelming evidence that Janet Lim Napoles is indeed guilty of stealing billions of pesos from the people’s money.

Another set of evidence is those contained in the plunder complaint filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Janet Lim Napoles, senators, congressmen and other officials.

To prove the fact that the DOJ and the NBI already filed plunder raps against Janet Lim Napoles, I cite here the website of Philippine Star, considered here as neutral because she did not file any case against the Star, to wit:

My opinions expressed in those two blogs may have been very harsh.

But the truth remains that these are even less than what should be the correct words.

Thus, for me to opine that the complainant is a “motherfucker” is even subtler than what should be the correct term.

The opinion that I described Jeane Lim Napoles as a daughter of the motherfucker is even friendlier than what should be the correct term for my opinion.

For lack of better term or words in my mind during the time of writing them, these were the only opinions that immediately came to my mind.

Issue of Jurisdiction

7.     I now discuss that there is no law, municipal or international, that defines jurisdictional rules on blogs or weblogs or articles that were posted on a website;

8.     The jurisdictional rules of libel is defined under Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code and these are the following:

a.     A private individual complainant can choose to file it in the court or prosecutor’s office of the city or province of residence of the complainant at the time of the publication of libel;

b.    A public employee complainant can choose to file it in the court or prosecutor’s office of the city or province of residence of the complainant at the time of the publication; and

c.      A complainant, whether a private individual or not, can file it in the court or prosecutor’s office of the city or province where the article was first published and printed.

9.     A reading of Article 360 of the RCP clearly limits the application of this rule on venue and jurisdiction of libel to written defamation published in a serial or newspaper or any publication that has fixed or constant frequency of publication or to a book or pamphlet;

10.              To make it clear, let the pertinent part of Article 360 be quoted, to wit:

The author or editor of a book or pamphlet, or the editor or business manager of a daily newspaper, magazine or serial publication, shall be responsible for the defamations contained therein to the same extent as if he were the author thereof.

11.              In the instant case, the subject matters of the complaint are two blogs posted on line and these have never been printed;

12.              Unlike serials or newspapers, blogs have no frequency in terms of publication;
13.              Blogs also are not printed like books or pamphlet, although they are published;

14.             So that even if we assume blogs as covered by the ordinary libel law, the rules of venue under Article 360 of the RCP do not apply;

15.              If that is so, then the general law on territoriality of criminal jurisdiction applies;

16.              The general law says that WHERE IT OCCURRED THERE THE CRIME CAN BE TRIED;

17.              In this case, the complainant did not submit any proof of the place where I posted the two blogs;

18.              For all she knows, I could have posted the blogs in Europe or the USA and there should be the criminal jurisdiction;

19.              Nevertheless, it is unthinkable how can the OCP of Taguig City have jurisdiction over blogs posted in New York;

20.              Because there is no evidence where the said blogs were posted, as equivalent to printing without conceding, then the instant case must be dismissed;

The nature of blogs

21.              The very nature of blogs that cannot be dictated by law or any compulsory system is the fact that it can be posted in countries outside the Philippines yet it can be read in the Philippines;

22.              If that is so, the only remedy available for the complainant is a civil action that can be taken cognizance by the Philippine courts;

Complainant already a public figure

23.             The complainant was already a public figure when the blogs concerned here were published and that the complainant failed to discharge her duties to submit proof of actual malice;

24.              If she was already a public figure, it requires now the complainant to submit proof of actual malice;

25.              This is discussed thoroughly below;

Doctrine of Fair Comments
Require Actual Malice Proof

26.              The Fair Comments Doctrine applies on the case at bar and it requires the complainant to discharge her obligation to submit proof of actual malice, to which she failed to do so;

The discussions

27.              To say that these articles she referred to are libels, the complainant must show clear and convincing evidence to show the existence of the elements of libel as defined under the Revised Penal Code, which elements are as follows:

a.    Defamatory imputation;

b.    Identification of the person to whom the defamatory imputation was ascribed;

c.    Malice in ascribing the defamatory imputation to the same person; and

d.    Publication of the said imputation.

28.              Other than assertions, the complainant has never submitted any evidence to show that the imputation she identified is defamatory;

29.             And to show it is defamatory to her person, she must demonstrate clearly first before she can be permitted to sue.    This is because it can never be presumed that one phrase or defamatory item is indeed defamatory;

30.             To say a sweeping statement it is defamatory is erroneous;

31.              In her case, she said that her daughter was hospitalized because of the blog articles that the respondent wrote and uploaded onto his Blogspot account,;

32.             But she never even submitted a medical certificate to prove that her daughter was hospitalized;

33.             Further, Janet Lim-Napoles never even submitted any affidavit of her daughter stating how she suffered from the blog articles written by the respondent;

34.             Janet Lim Napoles also did not submit any proof that she was authorized by her daughter to file a disbarment or libel suit on behalf of the daughter;

35.             Janet Lim-Napoles also did not submit evidence to show that it is the blog articles of the respondent that caused the people to shun away from them or to consider them outcasts;

36.             For all she knows, the massive nationwide public contempt that Janet Lim Napoles and her family have gotten can be said more of a proximate result of the daily publications by television networks and newspapers about the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) that have been pocketed;

37.              My blog articles about the lifestyles of the youngest daughter of Napoles maybe nothing compared to the daily bombardment they have gotten from Inquirer and other print publications and television and radio stations nationwide;

38.               I may concede that she has been identified in his blog articles;

39.              I may also concede that these blog articles she complained about were published on his personal Blogspot account, located at

40.              But there is no element of malice;

41.             That is aside from the fact that she did not submit any evidence of malice;

42.             Janet Lim Napoles is definitely required to submit evidence of malice because she was already a public figure at the time I posted the two blogs on his blog site.

43.              In this case, Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code does not apply;

44.              This is because she was already a public figure when the blogs in question were posted online;

45.              She was already a public figure that time because she has already thrown herself into the vortex of controversy by the time these two blogs were posted online;

46.              She threw herself into the vortex of the controversy when she came out denying the accusations against her by the so-called “whistleblowers”, including Benhur Luy, her cousin who spilled the beans after he was rescued by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents from the hands of Janet Lim Napoles;

47.             Her coming-out happened days before these blogs were posted by the respondent;

48.             Supporting the statement in the immediately-preceding paragraph is a ruling in Borjal vs Court of Appeals, 126466, January 14, 1999, that says:

But even assuming ex-gratia argumenti that private respondent, despite the position he occupied in the FNCLT, would not qualify as a public figure, it does not necessarily follow that he could not validly be the subject of a public comment even if he was not a public official or at least a public figure, for he could be, as long as he was involved in a public issue.  If a matter is a subject of public or general interest, it cannot suddenly become less so merely because a private individual is involved or because in some sense the individual did not voluntarily choose to become involved.   The public’s primary interest is in the event; the public focus is on the conduct of the participant and the content, effect and significance of the conduct, not the participant's prior anonymity or notoriety.

There is no denying that the questioned articles dealt with matters of public interest.  A reading of the imputations of petitioner Borjal against respondent Wenceslao shows that all these necessarily bore upon the latter's official conduct and his moral and mental fitness as Executive Director of the FNCLT.  The nature and functions of his position which included solicitation of funds, dissemination of information about the FNCLT in order to generate interest in the conference, and the management and coordination of the various activities of the conference demanded from him utmost honesty, integrity and competence.  These are matters about which the public has the right to be informed, taking into account the very public character of the conference itself.

49.              In this case, there is no denying that Janet Lim-Napoles was already a public figure because she was involved in a public issue, the PDAF thievery issue;

50.              So that what clearly apply now are the privileged communication doctrines. 

51.              In this case, the specific privileged communication doctrine that applies is the Fair Comments Doctrine;

52.              The doctrine of fair comments does not respect whether the offended party is a private person or not;

53.              What is important is that the issues or the matters involved are of public interest;

54.             In the case of Janet Lim-Napoles, the matters involved revolved around the pork barrel, particularly on whether these were stolen by Janet Lim-Napoles in connivance with lawmakers;

55.             And if the issues are matters of public interest, the doctrine of fair comments applies as a matter of course;

56.             And if it is so, then the only measurement of whether malice exists or not is whether there is Actual Malice in the publication of the questioned imputations;

57.             Now, actual malice means either an act of publishing a defamatory imputation that is false and the publisher knew such falsity even before he or she published the same; or an act of publishing a defamatory imputation with reckless disregard of the falsity of the imputation that by its nature should have required from the publisher a cross-checking of the truth or falsity of such imputation;

58.              It is very clear, actual malice is founded on falsity;

59.              So that the basic issue now is whether or not I lied when I presented the photographs I copied from the Tumblr account of Jeane Lim Napoles, the contents of that photographs, the premise that Janet Lim Napoles stole from the Pork Barrels or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotted to lawmakers, and the imputation that those million-peso-worth of apparels worn by Jeane Lim Napoles;

60.             To stress: Did the respondent lie on those items?;

61.             Stated otherwise: Are those items false?;

62.             Before answering the issue, the Fair Comments Doctrine does not require absolute truth in the facts used by the opinion maker;

63.             It only requires that at the time of the making of the opinions or comments that facts recited as the bases are reasonably true at the time of the making of the opinions and it does not matter even if those facts relied upon by the opinion maker turned out to be false after the publication;

64.              With the fact that Inquirer and the NBI already treating the revelations of the whistleblowers with serious concerns is sufficient for the respondent to reasonably rely on the statements published as true, particularly those statements that said that Janet Lim-Napoles faked documents in order for her to pocket PDAF funds in connivance with legislators;

65.             The dates of publication of the blogs and the dates when Inquirer came out with a series of news articles will show that the blogs here were published only after the Inquirer series was published;

66.              The first blog, “Meet girl in extremely-costly lifestyles using some of P10-B pork barrel of the people?,” was posted online on July 19, 2013.  It can be read at this website:;

67.             The second blog, “Napoles daughter 'legalized' 'stolen' billions; Celebrated expensive 21st b-day in Hollywood,” was posted online on July 30, 2013.  It can be read at this website:;

68.             Now, the first story of Inquirer, “NBI probes P10-B scam,” was posted online on July 12, 2013, which can be read at this website:;

69.             The second story of Inquirer, “I am not involved in any scam,” was posted online on July 13, 2013, which can be read at this website:;

70.             The third story of Inquirer, “How P10-B racket works”, was posted online on July 14, 2013, which can be read at this website:;

71.             The fourth story of Inquirer, “28 solons linked to scam,” was posted online on July 15, 2013, which can be read at this website:;

72.             The fifth story of Inquirer, “Malampaya fund lost P900M in JLN racket,” was posted online on July 16, 2013, which can be read at this website:;

73.             The sixth story of Inquirer, “Napoles: We control gov’t,” was posted online on July 17, 2013, which can be read at this website:;

74.              Additionally, it cannot be denied that Inquirer has been enjoying high reputation for believability in the news stories it publishes;

75.              So that by the time the first blog of the respondent was published, the foundations of truth had already been solid for the Inquirer to publish an imputation that Janet Lim-Napoles stole money from the PDAF of lawmakers;

76.             There is therefore no issue that at the time of the posting of the two blogs in question the respondent was already too reasonable in believing in the truth of the imputation that Janet Lim-Napoles stole from the PDAF of lawmakers;

77.             After the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation have found strong probable cause that Napoles stole billions of pesos from the Pork Barrel Funds of senators and congressmen, and after the Commission on Audit has issued its official findings that most of PDAF funds were channeled to the NGOs (non-governmental organizations) identified with Janet Lim-Napoles, how could the respondent now be said that he lied in all the factual recitals I wrote and I relied on for my opinions?;

78.             Never;

79.              After whistleblower Benhur Luy testified before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee where he detailed in straightforward and candid manner how Janet Lim-Napoles stole PDAF funds, how can it be said that I lied in all the facts he recited as basis in making opinions such as calling Janet Lim Napoles as “motherfucker” and her child as a daughter of a “motherfucker” that they must be fucked to (not “in” as suggested by the complainant) prison?

80.              Never;

81.              How can it be said that I lied in stating very harsh opinions inferred from the fact that Jeane Lim Napoles posted online photographs with captions that she herself wrote, stating what she was wearing in each of those photos?;

82.              Imagine those captions Jeane Lim Napoles wrote like the Hublot watch worth more than one million pesos that she wore and displayed with exuding arrogance, like those nine pairs of expensive YSL Tribute shoes, like those Chanel clutch bag, like those Herve Leger dresses;

83.              Imagine the pictures showing her posing with biggest celebrities in the word, including Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake;

84.             It is very clear: It cannot be said that I lied;

85.             And if I did not lie, then the only other possibility is I told the truth as the basis of my harsh opinions;

86.             Actually, Borjal vs Court of Appeals drew strength from a much-earlier case, US vs Bustos, G.R. No. L-12592, March 8, 1918;

87.              In this case, the Supreme Court, through the genius of Justice Malcolm, declared that it is a right of the people to make opinions on matters of public interest;

88.              Said Bustos:

The interest of society and the maintenance of good government demand a full discussion of public affairs. Completely liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is a scalpel in the case of free speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves the abscesses of officialdom. Men in public life may suffer under a hostile and an unjust accusation; the wound can be assuaged with the balm of a clear conscience.  A public officer must not be too thin-skinned with reference to comment upon his official acts. Only thus can the intelligence and the dignity of the individual be exalted. Of course, criticism does not authorize defamation. Nevertheless, as the individual is less than the State, so must expected criticism be born for the common good. Rising superior to any official or set of officials, to the Chief of Executive, to the Legislature, to the Judiciary — to any or all the agencies of Government — public opinion should be the constant source of liberty and democracy. (See the well considered cases of Wason vs. Walter, 4 L. R. 4 Q. B., 73; Seymour vs. Butterworth, 3F. and F., 372; The Queen vs. Sir R. Carden, 5 Q. B. D., 1)

89.               Now, even if there were errors of facts in the recitals in the blogs, they clearly appear to be in ignominy: they cannot be seen;

90.             In Borjal vs Court of Appeals, errors in gathering of facts and of publishing them do not constitute libel.  It says:

Even assuming that the contents of the articles are false, mere error, inaccuracy or even falsity alone does not prove actual malice.   Errors or misstatements are inevitable in any scheme of truly free expression and debate.     Consistent with good faith and reasonable care, the press should not be held to account, to a point of suppression, for honest mistakes or imperfections in the choice of language.     There must be some room for misstatement of fact as well as for misjudgment.    Only by giving them much leeway and tolerance can they courageously and effectively function as critical agencies in our democracy.   In Bulletin Publishing Corp. v. Noel  we held -

A newspaper especially one national in reach and coverage, should be free to report on events and developments in which the public has a legitimate interest with minimum fear of being hauled to court by one group or another on criminal or civil charges for libel, so long as the newspaper respects and keeps within the standards of morality and civility prevailing within the general community.

91.              Yes, I may have been too uninhibited, robust and wide open in expressing his opinions of Janet Lim Napoles and of her youngest daughter;

92.            Nevertheless, US Supreme Court Justice Brennan, in the case of New York Times vs Sullivan, 376 US 254 (1964), says that even if opinions used in debates were too harsh, it cannot be a justification to say it was libel;

93.             Brennan wrote:  “[D]ebate on public issues should be uninhibited, robust and wide open, and that it may well include vehement, caustic and sometimes unpleasantly sharp attacks on the government and public officials.”

94.              So that if it is really to be examined, it is very clear that there is no libel;

95.              Ergo, it is very clear that there is no libel

          IN WITNESS WHEREOF, it is prayed of the Honorable Office dismiss the instant complaint for being a waste of time, and that I sign this Counter-Affidavit this 7 October 2013 in the City of Taguig before the Assistant Prosecutor of the Office of the City Prosecutor of Taguig.


          SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN TO BEFORE ME on 7 October 2013 in Manila, affiant exhibiting his IBP ID No. 60944 and Driver’s Lic. No. N02-94-241544, issued by the LTO and expiring on December 10, 2015.  Further, I certify that I have examined the affiant and I am satisfied that he read and understood his counter-affidavit and that it was his free will.


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