Philippines Report

Sotto asks Inquirer to remove stories on Pepsi Paloma

Sotto asks Inquirer to remove stories on Pepsi Paloma: Senate President Tito Sotto has requested the Philippine Daily Inquirer to remove articles linking him to the rape and death of “softdrink beauty” Pepsi Paloma.

In a May 29 letter to Inquirer Interactive President and Chairman Paolo Prieto, Sotto asked that the articles “The Rape of Pepsi Paloma,” “Was Pepsi Paloma Murdered?” and “Tito Sotto denies whitewashing Pepsi Paloma rape case” be removed.

“These kinds of unverified have been negatively affecting my reputation for the longest time. My efforts to clarify my side were somewhat ineffectual by reason of the aforecited articles were shared by your readers to the social media, and those readers who knew nothing about the issue took them as the version of truth considering that those reports came from a well-trusted company like Inquirer.net,” Sotto said in the letter posted on Facebook by Inquirer columnist Rodel Rodis.

“Please note that I am making this appeal without the intention of trampling on your freedom of speech or of the press,” Sotto said. “I am for the truth – a ‘balanced news,’ so to speak.”

Sotto confirmed to Politiko that he has asked that the stories be removed because they were “libelous.”

“That issue was a rey dela cruz gimmick for soft drink beauties in 1982. I was not even involved. In fact i was not a public official then as alleged by the stories,” Sotto told Politiko in a text message.

Dela Cruz was Paloma’s talent manager.

The first two articles written by Rodis were first published in March 2014, while the story on Sotto’s denial was published in March 2016.

Sotto said he has been asking the Inquirer to remove the article for over two years.

Rodis, in his Facebook post, warned that “if the Inquirer agrees to his requests, a dangerous precedent will be set. Sotto is cyberbullying the Inquirer.”

But for Sotto, “Any fake news that is being used in legitimate news organization or news website makes it look legitimate and true.”

Sotto has been alleged to have coerced Paloma to sign an affidavit of desistance, dropping her rape charges against actors Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon and Richie D’Horsey.

The three, according to the Inquirer, issued a public apology to Paloma published in the People’s Journal.

She committed suicide in May 31, 1985.

 

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