Libel raps vs ex-info exec temporarily junked-A A +A
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
THE libel case against former acting chief of City Information Office (CIO) Rizal Giovanni “Bong” Aportadera was temporarily dismissed Wednesday.
In an interview, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 Judge George Omelio said the case was "provisionally dismissed" because the complainant, Angelo Abelardo "Apo" Aportadera, failed to attend two schedules of court proceedings.
"The case can still be reactivated within two years," Omelio said.
He said the complainant can still re-file the case within two years by filing a motion to reinstate criminal case.
"The provisional dismissal of an offense punishable by imprisonment of more than six years shall become permanent two years after the issuance of the order without the case having been revived," he added.
He said the case was supposedly scheduled for a pre-trial Wednesday morning, but the complainant was not around without any notice.
Court records showed that the pre-trial of the case has long been scheduled by the court last year after Aportadera pleaded not guilty on August 5, 2011.
Omelio said that pre-trial is mandatory in all criminal cases "after the arraignment and within 30 days from the date the court acquires jurisdiction over the accused."
He said it is stated under Rule 118 (Pre-Trial) of The Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure.
In a phone interview, lawyer Luwill Al-ag, counsel of the accused, said he moved for the dismissal of the case invoking the right of his client to speedy trial.
"Bong is settled with his family in Norway. He went home to attend the case trial," he said.
Aportadera, who left the country after resigning as the city information officer on March 12, appeared before the court Wednesday.
He said the absence of the complainant during several hearings without any notice only delay the proceedings of the case thus, moving for the case dismissal.
Records of the case revealed that prosecutor Carlos B. Castaños, in his resolution dated October 19, found probable cause to charge Bong Aportadera with libel after he allegedly published malicious statements in his Facebook account against the complainant on October 13, 2009.
The alleged libelous message posted by Bong was: "Kataw-an kaayo yang ka apelyedo namo, mangilad gyud. Nisulti gyud sa mga taga dos nga anak daw siya sa akong amahan. Huwaaat? Intawun, wa man mi igsuon nga ngil-ad uy. Buyag. Maski siguro mag-aanak sa gawas ang akong amahan, dili gyud niya pareha ug dagway. Kamong mga taga dos, kana ba ang matinud-anon na tao? Karon pa, bakakon na."
The complainant said their friends and relatives commented on the same post.
However, Castaños dismissed the same charges filed against Bong's list of friends who commented to his post for insufficiency of evidence. Arianne Caryl N. Casas)
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on September 13, 2012.