'BAGONG LAHI' GROUP SEEKS NOLI'S DISQUALIFICATION

MANILA,  April 27, 2004
 
(STAR)
A group which earlier filed extortion charges against administration vice presidential candidate Sen. Noli de Castro is now seeking his disqualification by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Bagong Lahing Pilipino Development Foundation, formerly known as East Pacific AAA Foundation, accused the broadcaster-turned-senator of violating the election code when his magazine show replayed an episode purportedly exposing East Pacific as a fake.

The episode, first aired on Feb. 2, 2002, was reaired last March 20 with De Castro appearing as its anchor.

In their statement, the foundation said De Castro "took undue advantage of his regular program as a media personality to reappear in his program "Magandang Gabi Bayan" to unduly promote his candidacy, considering that the rebroadcasting of the earlier tape... (portrayed him) as a champion of the cause of ‘disgruntled’ and alleged members of the Bagong Lahi."

The group said there is "absolutely no valid and justifiable reason for the reairing" and it was meant to "circumvent" the law requiring "media practitioners seeking public office to resign during the campaign period to guard (against) the possible use of their profession in promoting their candidacies."

The group had filed extortion charges against De Castro after his staff reportedly blackmailed and allegedly demanded P3.5 million from them two years ago. When the group refused, the episode portraying the foundation as a fraud was reportedly made.

The foundation claims to be a civic group. — Jose Aravilla


Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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