Minister of National Security “Cautioned in a friendly manner” removal of Rise & Shine TV Host

John Saldivar gives his side of PLUS TV suit. This television station is being sued for defamation of character by Minister of National Security John Saldivar, who claims that earlier this year statements purportedly made about him on our “Rise and Shine” morning program by co-host Patrick Jason Andrews defamed his character.

Jules Vasquez:
Why are you taking PlusTV to court?

John Saldivar – Minister of National Security:
vlcsnap-2013-04-11-20h23m52s219Because I value my reputation and I believe that the words uttered by Mr. Jason Patrick Andrews were assailing my character and reputation and they disagree and that is why they have refused to apologize and retract. They feel that it was within their rights to say what they did. Only a court can decide that and that is how these matters work. You are in the media, you know how it works. If they feel that they had the right to say what they did, then take it to court. I feel that they wronged me and that they falsely accused me of something and they assailed my reputation and I am going to court to vindicate.

Saldivar was also questioned by the press as to whether he had asked for the removal of Patrick Jason Andrews from Rise and Shine prior to the lawsuit.

Journalist:
Any truth to their allegation that some time before the lawsuit, you had requested that Jason Patrick Andrews be removed from the show as a co-host.

John Saldivar – Minister of National Security:
Absolutely not, I am not crazy, I don’t own PlusTV and cannot demand or request them to do anything. As I have explained this morning on the Wave Radio Show, I, considering myself to be a friend of Louis Wade and considering him to be my friend, had offered him friendly advice – that I thought that the slant that Jason Patrick Andrews was taking was turning off people and that he was losing listenership and viewership and I simply gave him free, unsolicited advice. I simply told him – Bwai, this guy is causing you to lose support among especially the Belmopan people, who on a frequent basis were texting me concerned, about many comments that he was making. So I never demanded, I never begged and I never requested for Mr. Andrews to be fired. I simply cautioned in a friendly manner, Mr. Louis Wade that I thought that in my opinion, the way he was taking his show was going to hurt the image and the credibility of PlusTV.

Saldivar maintains that the issue is one that must be settled by the courts, and not in the court of public opinion.

John Saldivar – Minister of National Security:
There is no talk of any quantum and I think those who have been involved in the media for some time will know that that’s a standard letter that is sent out by attorneys on behalf of claimants who feel that they have been defamed or slandered by any others that have been said. That is a standard letter that is sent out by all attorneys whenever there is such a case. There is no quantum; no quantum is ever stated in those letters – that’s left to be decided by the court.

Plus TV’s Director Louis Wade says that he believes that the lawsuit is an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and to muzzle independent press in Belize. We will keep you posted on the suit in court as it develops.

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