Court dismisses libel raps vs broadcaster

THE Regional Trial Court Branch 16 has dismissed the libel case that Cebuano businessman Wellington Lim filed against broadcaster Cirse “Choy” Torralba in 2005.

Judge Sylva Aguirre-Paderanga granted Torralba’s demurrer to evidence and dismissed the libel suit filed against him.

“This court finds that the evidence of the prosecution is insufficient to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” reads Paderanga’s three-page order.

Lim, brother of Peter Lim, filed the libel complaint against Torralba after he accused the Lim brothers of, among others, bribing government officials and citing how the two had dinner with the late National Bureau of Investigation chief Reynaldo Wycoco.

Lim then asked for P20 million in damages.

Lim said Torralba, who then hosted a program over radio dyAR Angel Radio, pictured him and his brother Peter as some sort of convicted felons that a public official like Wycoco should avoid.

Lim said he was never convicted of any crime, and neither did any court or tribunal find him guilty of any involvement in any illegal trading or other illegal activity, particularly in prohibited drugs.

Paderanga gave weight to Torralba’s pleading, saying that neither his taped radio program nor the stenographer who transcribed the recording was presented in court during the trial.

Paderanga also said that the testimony of the prosecution’s lone witness was inconsistent.

“The lone and uncorroborated testimony of (Dioscoro) Fuentes (Jr.) cannot be relied upon by the court for it to render a guilty verdict against the accused,” said Paderanga. (GMD)
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