Journalists jailed for libel

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The Independent Online
(First Edition)

MANILA (Reuter) - Two prominent Filipino journalists were convicted of libel yesterday and sentenced to two years in jail for an article which claimed former president Corazon Aquino hid under her bed during a 1987 coup attempt.

Declaring that 'freedom of the press means freedom to tell and report the truth only', Judge Ramon Makasir also ordered the newspaper columnist, Luis Beltran, and publisher, Maximo Soliven, to jointly pay Mrs Aquino 2m pesos (pounds 49,000) in damages. Mr Beltran said the decision, after a four-year trial was a temporary setback and he would appeal.