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Tupas accuses VP bet of cyber libel, seeks P10-M in damages

JEFRY M. Tupas, the former information officer of vice presidential candidate Sara Z. Duterte, has accused another vice presidential candidate, Walden Bello of cyber libel for claiming Tupas was involved in illegal drugs.

In her affidavit which the City Prosecution office received on March 7, Tupas sought P10 million in damages from Bello who he claimed accused her of being a “drug addict” and “drug dealer.”

She said Bello’s “false, defamatory and malicious, utterances and posts against me which were published in social media maligned, injured, defamed me and exposed my good reputation to public hatred, contempt, dishonor, discredit and public ridicule.”

“I have never been `nabbed’ or arrested at any beach nor have I ever been charged, much less convicted, of any drug related case. I have certainly not `snorted 1.5 million pesos worth of drugs.’ I am not and have never been a drug dealer,” she added.

Tupas was referring to Bello’s “live interview” posted on his “official” Facebook page on March 1, which had about 14,000 followers where he claimed Tupas “was nabbed at a beach party where she and her friends were snorting P1.5 million worth of drugs on November 6, 2021.”

In that same interview, Bello allegedly said that Duterte’s “excuse that she did not know that she was sheltering a drug dealer does not wash, it is not credible.”

Bello was alluding to an event in Davao de Oro where Tupas was reportedly among those who were present in a party which was raided by authorities and resulted in the arrest of 17 individuals.

Although she was not among those arrested as she claimed she immediately left after taking dinner, Tupas resigned as a city information officer, although the mayor said she also terminated her information officer.

The mayor added that the details of the raid were known only to the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency which was the lead agency of the operation. 



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