Dec 172014


We write with regard your columnist, Victor C. Agustin (Agustin).

For over a year now, through his column “Money Go Round”, Mr. Agustin has executed a vendetta and demolition job against  the undersigned law firm, Cruz Marcelo and Tenefrancia CMT), a private law partnership. Mr. Agustin has repeatedly written malicious articles, all containing imputations causing dishonor, discredit and contempt against CMT. These articles are the following:

1. Money Go Round article dated April 29, 2013 with the banner headline entitled “The Firm Splits But Partners Insist It Is A Dissolution” where Mr. Agustin unashamedly trumpets that Atty. F. Arthur L. Villaraza (Villaraza)1 who heads the Villaraza and Angangco (VA) group controlled 80 percent of the assets and accounts of Villaraza Cruz Marcelo and Angangco law firm (CVCLaw).2 Furthermore, Mr. Agustin made the outrageous claim that the VA group was subsidizing partners now in CMT.3

2. Money Go Round article dated Jan. 20, 2014 with the banner headline entitled “Kim Henares’ Tax Bite Threatens to Chew Off Cruz Marcelo Lawyers” where Mr. Agustin claims that CMT is liable for a large amount of tax due to the supposed “bolting” of its partners from CVCLaw and that lawyers of CMT are allegedly going against Vice President Jejomar Binay (Binay);4

3. Money Go Round article dated July 25, 2014 with the banner headline entitled “Jojo Binay Points to the Usual Suspects as the Firm Forms Anti-Roxas Team” wherein Mr. Agustin makes the wild accusation that CMT, supposedly a “breakaway group” of CVCLaw was behind the plunder complaint against Vice President Binay. Conspicuously, Mr. Agustin explicitly names Atty. Villaraza as his sole source for the article;5

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4.Money Go Round article dated Oct. 13, 2014 where Mr. Agustin baselessly invites comparison of CMT against VA, wherein the former supposedly had its first anniversary in a Batangas resort while VA will supposedly have its 35th Anniversary in Las Vegas, USA;6

5. Money Go Round article dated Dec. 1, 2014 with the headline entitled “CMT Finally Takes Leave” wherein Mr. Agustin claims CMT, as the “breakaway” group was merely hanging on at the CVCLaw Center and was finally leaving the said building to the VA group.7

6. Money Go Round article dated Dec. 8, 2014 with the banner headline entitled “CMT Lawyers Threaten Suit, Claim They Are Still Part of Carpio Villaraza Cruz” wherein Mr. Agustin claims partners in CMT were subsidized by CVCLaw and again, that CMT, as the breakaway group, was leaving the CVCLaw Center.8

7. Money Go Round article dated Dec. 15, 2014 with the banner headline entitled “The Firm Serves Ex-Partners Ejectment Notice, P200-M Bill” wherein Mr. Agustin made the claim that CMT had a statement in the Dec. 8,  2014 issue of Money Go Round (which it certainly did not), CMT was supposedly served with P200-million bill for “construction costs” and publishing again the one-sided statement of VA.9

Clear from the foregoing malicious articles is that Mr. Agustin has singled out CMT for deliberate and repeated attacks. Indeed, just in the short span of the last weeks, Mr. Agustin has successively published malicious articles against CMT in his weekly column. Prior to writing these articles, Mr. Agustin failed to verify the truth of the false and malicious claims he was making. Neither did Mr. Agustin seek, in any effective manner, comment from CMT for these claims.10 Instead he wrote these articles knowing they were false and/or with a reckless disregard of the truth.

Further clear from these articles is that Mr. Agustin was merely being fed, and readily swallowed, false and malicious claims by Atty. Villaraza/VA, thus joining in the malicious agenda to shamelessly publish the propaganda of Atty. Villaraza/VA at the expense of CMT.

CMT categorically denies the claims made in these articles as being false, misleading and without basis. CMT is moreover a private entity that enjoys protection from libelous attacks.

The undersigned law firm demands that Mr. Agustin stop and be enjoined from continuing with the publication of articles against CMT or its members which are but part of his continuing demolition job against CMT. Further, should any article mentioning CMT or its members be published in the future by The Philippine STAR, the undersigned law firm demands that it be informed prior to publication and in such manner that CMT’s comment, if any, on the matter be included verbatim in the very same article and without comment by the author.

Should the foregoing just demands remain unheeded, we shall have no choice but to initiate legal action to protect CMT’s rights.

Very truly yours,



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