Philippine court convicts opposition publisher of libel

Manila  - A Philippine court on Thursday convicted a publisher of an opposition newspaper of libel against a law firm and sentenced her to up to two years in prison.

Judge Winlove Dumayas also ordered Ninez Cacho-Olivares, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Daily Tribune, to pay more than 5 million pesos (113,636 dollars) in moral and civil damages to the firm.

The case stemmed from an article written by Olivares in 2003 that was found to have maligned the reputation of the Carpio, Villaraza and Cruz law firm, which has close ties with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Olivares took her conviction in stride and told a local radio station, "You know how it is in our country. I'm not exactly the love of Mrs Arroyo."

Olivares is also facing separate libel cases filed by Arroyo's husband, lawyer Jose Miguel. She has also been accused of being involved in efforts to oust the president.

In February 2006, the office of The Daily Tribune was raided by police at the height of an alleged plot to topple the Arroyo government. (dpa)

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