Updated: March 4, 2021, 8:50 PM
“Nightmare is over”
Teodoro ‘Ted’ Alcuitas
Editor, Philippine Canadian News.Com
A long-standing legal battle between Oswald Magno and Balita Editor/Publisher Teresita Cusipag and her three sons, Michael, Anthony and Lyle De Juan came to end with the acceptance of an out-of-court settlement recently.
“I am glad our nightmare is over. I made substantial concessions for our own peace of mind and so that we can move on with our lives,” Magno said in an email to Philippine Canadian news.com (PCN.Com).
Magno filed a fraudulent conveyance lawsuits against the defendants to invalidate the transfer of real estates by Cusipag to her sons. Magno claimed in his suit that Cusipag disposed the properties in anticipation of potential damages she was facing in a defamation suit against her filed by the late Senator Tobias Enverga, Jr. and Magno.
Magno was awarded a total of $579,000 in damages in 2013 against Balita, Cusipag and reporter Romeo Marquez but before he could collect for the judgment, Cusipag disposed her assets, prompting Magno to file the Fraudulent Conveyance suit.
No details of the settlement were disclosed by Magno under the terms of the agreement signed by the three De Juan brothers.According to Magno, Cusipag refused to sign the agreement offered by the sons so the settlement was only between him and the children.
Cusipag, Balita and Marquez were defendants in an earlier defamation case filed by the late Senator Tobias Enverga Jr. In that case and subsequent proceedings, Cusipag paid a total of $436,000 in damages and costs.She also served time in jail for contempt of court in connection with the case.
A string of other defamation cases are awaiting resolution against Cusipag including the Kol Hope Foundation and the Rustias for a $2.5 million defamation suit in three separate actions at the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Ontario on December 11, 2013, April 17, 2014 and July 28, 2014.
In August last year, Lily Hammer filed a defamation suit against Cusipag for an undisclosed amount.
Nothing has been proven in court for both cases.
Balita was founded by the late Ruben Cusipag in August 1978 after he broke away from Atin Ito which started in December 1976.
In Winnipeg, Ted Alcuitas started Silangan in February 1976. Silangan lasted until 1981 when it was sold to Rod Cantiveros. Cantiveros renamed it to Filipino Journal and continues to publish the paper until today.
Thus the three papers were the pioneers in the Filipino media in Canada.