Sara Duterte’s ex-info officer files libel suit on VP bet Bello

Mar. 08, 2022

DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Former Davao City Information Officer Jefry Tupas filed a cyberlibel suit seeking P10 million in damages from vice presidential candidate Professor Walden Bello.

The complaint, filed on Monday at the Davao City prosecutor’s office, said Bello falsely accused Tupas on social media of being a drug addict.

Tupas was dragged into the controversial drug raid of a beach party in Mabini, Davao de Oro last November 6. Tupas claimed she left the party before the raid, but those arrested alleged she was let go after saying she is a staff of the city mayor.

The issue forced Mayor Sara Duterte to fire Tupas when the latter filed her resignation. The mayor, in a statement, said “the details of the raid are known only to the PDEA officers in Davao de Oro and Ms. Tupas.”

Tupas was not heard of since. But rumors circulated on social media when netizens claimed she appeared during the launch of Sara Duterte’s nationwide caravan in Pasto Apollo Quiboloy’s church ground last February 1 for her vice presidential campaign.

Tupas said she was “shocked and hurt” over Bello aired comments on his Facebook page made last March 1 about him.

Bello was quoted as saying that “Mayor Duterte’s Press Information Officer, Jefry Tupas, was nabbed at a beach party where she and her friends were snorting 1.5 million pesos worth of drugs on November 6, 2021. Now, the Mayor’s excuse that she did not know that she was sheltering a drug dealer does not wash, it is not credible.”

Tupas said she felt “humiliated” over the false accusation that have damaged her reputation.

Bello made those remarks as offshoot in criticizing Duterte for not attending the vice-presidential debate.

The former representative of Akbayan Party-list called the libel suit “a bad move” over his Facebook account on Monday.

“The filing of cyberlibel charges by Jefry Tupas is clearly a politically-motivated move. Was Tupas instructed by Sara Duterte to take away attention from her refusal to participate in the Vice Presidential debate? This strategy has one goal in mind: harassment. It aims to inconvenience us in legal bureaucracy while failing to address the concerns we’ve raised about the mayor’s tainted record in Davao,” Bello said. (

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