Unmoved by the libel case filed against him, Prof. Antonio L. Tinio, national chairperson of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) vows that teachers will win the fight for better services and benefits from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
BY NOEL SALES BARCELONA
Prof. Antonio L. Tinio, national chairperson of the teachers’ group Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) and other teachers from different schools in Metro-Manila denounced the libel charges lodged against him by Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) president and general manager Winston Garcia.
Facing four counts of libel, Tinio warmly faced the media, November 15, determined to assail once again the incompetence of Garcia as GSIS president and general manager, as well as what he calls the “anti-teacher” program of surety companies such as the Premium-Based Policy and the Claims and Loans Interdependency Program.
These policies, according to Tinio, have unfairly deprived hundreds of thousands of public school teachers and other GSIS members of the benefits granted to them by law.
Libel cannot silence critics
“If Garcia thinks that they can silence his critics by libel charges, he’s wrong. We will intensify our campaigns against his anti-teacher policies,” Tinio told the media.
Aside from Tinio, four columnists from three major dailies were charged with libel for quoting in their columns Tinio’s statements that the sale of GSIS stocks in the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) to San Miguel Corporation (SMC) is “inimical to the interest of public school teachers.”
The columnists facing libel charges are Federico Pascual, Jr of the Philippine Star; Dan Mariano of the Manila Times; and Raul Valino and Lito Gagni, both of Business Mirror.
Meanwhile, implicated together with the respondents were the opinion editors of their respective papers, namely, Ramon Lim (Philippine Star), Rene Bas (Manila Times) and Lyn Resurreccion (Business Mirror).
However, the libel charges against Tinio are still pending at the Pasay City Prosecutor’s Office. It would still be determined if there is probable cause to file the cases in court.
Not the first time
But this is not the first time Garcia slapped his critics with a libel suit.
Last September, Ferdinand R. Gaite, the national president of the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (Courage) rushed to the Pasay City Regional Trial Court Br. 112, to post bail in connection with the libel case filed against him by Garcia. The case stemmed from articles published in the Manila Times and the former Today which quoted him as saying that Garcia is mismanaging GSIS funds.