Esperon should remain as defendant in website blocking case, says Bulatlat

Photo by Carlo Manalansan/Bulatlat


MANILA – Alternative online news Bulatlat assailed the attempt of former National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. to exonerate himself over his own website blocking order by saying the current security chief should replace him as a defendant.

“Bulatlat calls on the court to reject Esperon’s motion. He should be retained as party to this case as he is the mastermind behind the censorship of 27 websites,” Bulatlat said in a statement.

Esperon is among the defendants in the civil suit that Bulatlat filed over his last year’s order to the National Telecommunications Commission to block 27 websites over supposed terror links. Bulatlat has earlier gained an initial victory when the Quezon City court granted a temporary injunction.

The temporary injunction order will stand until the court issues its final decision.

The former national security adviser, however, said in a petition he filed last month that the successor of his office, also a retired general and former interior secretary, Eduardo Año, should substitute him as defendant.

Bulatlat opposed this motion and said in their released statement that Esperon is being sued “in his personal capacity,” saying he acted with malicious intent when he wrote to NTC.

Assisted by the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), Bulatlat filed its own Comment and Opposition yesterday, Feb. 28, reiterating its reasons as to why Esperon should remain as a defendant in the website blocking case.

“Defendant Esperon’s present motion is a prohibited motion to dismiss filed in the guise of a motion for substitution. This is out of order,” Bulatlat’s motion stated, adding that it was aware that Esperon was no longer NSA when it filed the case, but he’s still being sued in his personal capacity.

The first trial of this case is set on April 4, 2023. (JJE) (

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