Dr. Honey Carandang and Froilan Grate filed counter affidavit on libel and child abuse charges

Today, Dr. Honey Carandang and Froilan Grate (Administrator for the Movement to End Child Abuse in Facebook) submitted their counter affidavit to the libel case and child abuse charges filed against them. Froi considers “this suit not only an attack against our constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression but more importantly, this is an attack against public participation on matters of national interest – for fighting for the rights of every child is a matter of national interest and a duty for every Filipino.”

A few months back, Dr. Carandang wrote a letter to MTRCB where she ” would like to register our very strong condemnation of the child abuse shown on ABC 5’s TV show, “ Willing-Willie,” by its host Willie Revillame on March 12, 2011. Abuse was done on a 6-year old boy named Jan-Jan. This has become common knowledge due to the numerous letters of condemnation published in the broad sheet and circulating in the social media.”

Surrounded by supporters and survivors of child abuse, Dr Carandang delivered her press statement to media after the filing:

“I am here to file my counter affidavit because I was sued for libel and child abuse.

I was asked my professional opinion and I gave it.

As a Clinical Child Psychologist, and National Social Scientist, it is my duty to give my opinion on these matters, and I stand by my opinion.

These people from different child-rights group and concerned citizens are here because they believe in me and my crusade against child abuse.

While I know deep inside that I do not have to dignify these malicious and baseless charges with a response, I understand that the legal process requires me to state for the record that I did not commit any child abuse.

It is the height of irony that this unfounded and malicious charge of child abuse was filed against me after I have dedicated my entire professional career and a good part of my life to the protection of the child and the promotion of their rights and welfare.

It pains me to suffer the indignity of standing accused for simply doing what is right, for simply trying to uplift our people’s understanding 9f how children should be properly treated and for standing up for the rights and dignity of a child.”

Aside from the counter affidavit, Froilan filed counter charges against the Suans for perjury. The latter accused Froilan Grate for circulating the youtube video of the dancing kid when the video was in fact circulated by the father and an uncle in Facebook. In his counter affidavit, Froilan cited:

36. The evidence on hand shows that it was Mr. Suan and his brother Argie who were the source of the spliced and edited video; before the public raised a howl of protest over the way Jan-Jan was treated on national television by Mr. Revillame, both of them posted the video on their profile pages and invited the public to view it and express their approval of it by “liking” it.

37. Of course, this begs the question: if Mr. Suan now calls the video a libellous and defamatory material, why did he and his brother Argie actively share it on their Facebook profile pages and seek the approbation of others before that?

38. And when the controversy erupted, they tried to cover their tracks by deleting their postings from their profile pages; worse, Mr. Suan even had the temerity to then falsely accuse me and others of having made a spliced and maliciously edited video that we then spread to the public through social networking sites!

John Silva was unable to file his counter affidavit so the hearing was set to June 28.