Radio commentator apologizes to Ouano family

04/19/2010 - A RADIO commentator yesterday publicly apologized to the Ouano family for commentaries he made almost four years ago, where he accused former Mandaue City mayor Thadeo Ouano of having an illicit affair with his daughter-in-law, Cheryl.

Joash Dignos said the commentaries he made on July 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19 and 21 in 2006 which were aired over radio dyHP were all “untrue.”

“Di kini tinuod ug kadtung tanan tumo tumo lamang, way basihanan ug way kamatuoran,” Dignos told a press conference in a Mandaue City restaurant.

He added that “ang akong tuyo sa maong broadcast mao lang ang pagkulit ug ngalan sa natad sa broadcasting tungod sa kompetisyon sa panibya dinhi sa Sugbu”.

Dignos yesterday read his written public apology which he directed at the former mayor and his wife, Linda, and other members of the family, especially Consolacion councilor Alfe Ouano, his wife Cheryl and their two children.

Dignos said he was especially sorry for the pain, shame and inconvenience that the Ouanos suffered because of his commentaries.

He said he was also bothered by his conscience especially since his wife and children have been asking him to apologize.

“Dili lalim ang pag pangayo ug pasaylo pero tungod kay taw man ta, na sipyat man, naka sala man, ako kinasing kasing nga gi angkon ang tanan gumikan kay ako man ning binuhatan,” he said.

Dignos said he opted to apologize hoping the libel case filed against him would be dropped. He said the case was costly because he had to travel to Cebu every two months since the filing of the libel charge in 2006.

Seven counts of libel which Cheryl filed against Dignos are still pending at the Mandaue City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Lawyer Gloria Dalawampu, legal counsel of the former mayor, said insinuations of Ouano's alleged affair with Cheryl was the “biggest blow” to him.

Dalawampu said it affected Ouano and his family more than accusations of his alleged involvement in the operation of a shabu factory in barangay Umapad and the overpriced lampposts for the 2007 Asean summit.

“To be accused of having an illicit affair is also a big issue for a public official. What made it worst are insinuations that he (Ouano) was having an affair with his daughter-in-law,” she said.

Former mayor Ouano said he appreciated Dignos apology.

“Pasalamat ta that he came to his senses. Narealize nya nga ang iyang gi himo dili di ay mao.... At least we learned from our lessons,” said Ouano.

Ouano said he was prepared to forgive Dignos since the latter has apologized.

In a separate interview, Cheryl said that Dignos' apology was enough proof that she remained faithful to her husband.

She is now prepared to withdraw the libel charges she filed against Dignos.

Cheryl said she was hurt by reports on her alleged affair with the former mayor because this caused distress to her parents and her children. It has also affected her self-esteem as a woman, said Cheryl.

Dignos used to be assigned at the RMN station in Cagayan de Oro. He was reassigned to their Cebu station in July 2006 as anchor for the program “Birada.” Its regular anchor, Rufil BaƱoc, was on leave at the time to prepare for the bar exams.

Dignos said there were instances in July 2006 when he sent a reporter to the Ouano residence in barangay Opao to get the former mayor's reaction to the discovery of a shabu laboratory in his city.

However, Ouano was always unavailable for interviews. To get the former mayor's attention, Dignos said he started to hit him on air. He started to discuss about his alleged affair with Cheryl.

Dignos denied that someone paid for his commentaries.

He said he was bothered by his conscience since he resigned from dyHP on Dec. 1, 2006 and returned to Bukidnon.

There were several instances in the past when he wanted to seek the forgiveness of the Ouano family but he was overcome by fear and shame.

Also, he wanted the issue which has angered even Ouano supporters to die down.

Dignos said he already spoke with mayor Ouano last month to try to apologize.

He said he organized yesterday's press conference to make a public apology.
(Cebu Daily News)

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