BROADCASTER and columnist Pablito “Bobby” Nalzaro posted P10,000-bail yesterday for his temporary liberty from the libel case former Cebu City mayor and congressman Tomas Osmeña filed.
Accompanied by his lawyers Joan Giduquio-Baron and Barbara Anne Ocaba, Nalzaro posted bail past 11 a.m. at Qimonda IT Center in the North Reclamation Area, Cebu City.
Regional Trial Court Branch 5 Judge Ricky Jones Macabaya later signed an order for Nalzaro's release.
The broadcaster was also accompanied by lawyers Eddie Barrita and Elias Espinoza of the Cebu Media Legal Aid and some of his friends.
Judge Macabaya issued the arrest warrant late Wednesday afternoon.
Nalzaro, interviewed after he secured his release paper, said he is ready to face the charges, which he considers as a "hazard of the profession."
But Nalzaro said he would continue his service to the public through his commentary program.
"We have to dance with the music. This (case) will take a long, long process," Nalzaro told reporters.
Defense lawyer Baron said they will ask Judge Macabaya to suspend proceedings, pending the outcome of their petition for review before the Department of Justice.
Nalzaro, assisted by J.P. Garcia and Associates, filed a petition for review asking the justice department to reverse the resolution of Lapu-Lapu City Acting Prosecutor Jesus Rodrigo Taga-an, who found probable cause to charge the broadcaster with libel.
Osmeña filed two libel complaints against Nalzaro last December for allegedly besmirching his reputation.
The broadcaster, Osmeña said, accused him of fabricating charges when he filed multiple administrative complaints against Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas before the Civil Service Commission (CSC).
Nalzaro, a Sun.Star Cebu and Sun.Star SuperBalita columnist, denied he maligned Osmeña. He argued that his column was written solely in response to his “journalistic duty.”
Nalzaro pointed out that he used the phrase “fabricated charges” in his column after he read the Commission on Audit (COA) report, which he said would show that Cuevas could not be criminally or administratively held liable.
In the resolution, Prosecutor Taga-an said the “fabricated charges” phrase that Nalzaro used in his column is libelous.
Nalzaro filed a motion for reconsideration, but the prosecutor denied it saying that the broadcaster's defense of privileged communication is a defense in a full-blown trial.
In the petition, the defense said that Prosecutor Taga-an erred in not dismissing the libel complaint against Nalzaro when the prosecutor did not even rule that there was malice in journalist's column.
The defense said Nalzaro has no ill-will nor hatred against Osmeña and that there was no evidence the accused "was animated by the desire to inflict unjustifiable harm" on the complainant.