Prosecutor recommends libel cases vs newsman

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014


ANGELES CITY -- The Provincial Prosecutor’s Office has recommended in court the filing of six counts of libel charges against broadcaster Medardo "Med" David for his alleged malicious statements against Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

Malabanias barangay chairman Reynaldo Gueco, one of David’s former co-host in his radio program “Golpe de Gulat,” was also charged with the same offense.

The complaint against Fred Cortez, David’s third co-host, was dropped due to insufficiency of evidence.

The complaint was filed after David and Gueco allegedly issued defamatory remarks against the mayor over their radio program aired from September to October 2012 over GV99.1 FM and 792 AM.

Assistant City Prosecutor Christopher Dela Cruz recommended the filing of charges after finding “probable cause” in Pamintuan’s complaint.

“The subject imputations are defamatory especially considering the stature of the complainant who was being depicted as corrupt,” Dela Cruz said on his two separate resolutions dated December 23, 2013.

The prosecutor added that the imputations are malicious since the defamatory statements by its very nature and wordings are malicious.

"There was publication considering that imputations were made on-air in a public radio and the same were obviously heard by third persons," he added.

For an imputation to be considered libelous, it must be defamatory, malicious, published and the victim is identifiable, said Dela Cruz.

Dela Cruz has elevated the libel complaint to court for a full-blown trial.

Under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, libel is a criminal offense.

Violators are penalized with imprisonment of six months to four years or a fine of up to P6,000 or both, in addition to any damages awarded by the court to the offended party.

In July last year, the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) has reprimanded David for serious violation of the broadcasting guidelines.

David was found to have violated Article 4, Section 2 of the organization’s radio code which provides that “programs intended to malign, unfairly criticize or attack a person, natural or juridical are prohibited.”

The KBP said that David was unabated in his tirades against personalities and parties he is critical of, showing complete bias against them and using language that borders on libel.

David was ordered to pay KBP a fine of P15,000 and was also required to renew his broadcaster’s accreditation with the KBP, which expired in 2011.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 23, 2014.

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