AGILA newspaper editor-in-chief Erwin Ambo Delilan and business marketing head Ma. Teresa Lejano will be facing a libel case before the Talisay City National Prosecutor Service Office (NPSO).

This came after Prosecutor III Lorenzo Amodia issued a joint resolution last December 29, 2009 on the complaint filed by Save Bacolod Movement convenor Romy Niere against respondents Delilan, Lejano, circulation-in-charge Roberto Descutido Jr., art director Daren Zaraga, and John Doe, the unknown publisher of Agila.

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Amodia resolved that finding probable cause in the said criminal cases shall be filed in the proper court against respondents Delilan and Lejano.

Meanwhile, the criminal complaint referring to the November 3, 2009 publication issue was dismissed for lack of probable cause. The other complaints filed against other respondents were also dismissed.

Amodia also said the respondents were directed in a subpoena to submit their counter-affidavits and supporting documents to controvert the charges.

“However, despite receipt thereof on December 10, 2009, no evidence were ever filed before this office, thus this office is inclined to believe that there was an implied admission by respondents of all the allegations against them,” he said.

He added: “Accordingly, these cases are resolved based on the evidences available at hand.”

Amodia said the mentioned articles of the respondents in their column “kuting-kuting just asking” were published to cause dishonor, discredit and injure his reputation in the society.

He noted that after a careful examination and evaluation of the evidences, he cited that the issues of November 6 to 7, 2009 and the November 11, 2009 issues published by the respondents contained malicious and defamatory statements against the complainant.

He said it appears, however, that the author of “kuting-kuting just asking” column was not specified.

“Nonetheless, under Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code, the editor in-chief or business manager of the daily newspaper magazine or serial publication shall be responsible for the defamations contained therein to the same extent as if he were the author thereof,” he said, adding that Delilan and Lejano are the probable authors of the crime.

Delilan and Lejano, on their part, have already submitted their counter-affidavit last January 13, 2010 before the Talisay City Prosecutor Office.

Delilan said he vehemently denied the insinuations and unfounded statements of the complainant that the content of the said column were done with dishonest purpose, evil desire or ulterior purpose to do him wrong, causing damage to his person.

He said the purpose of the complainant is pure and simple harassment or comment on the said column.

Lejano, on the other hand, said that contrary to the allegations of the complainant, “I have nothing to do with the editorial contents of the publication and therefore has no basis of including me in the said indictment.”

“I could not be charged of any dishonest purpose and evil desire to cast aspersion on the personality of the complainant as I even do not know him,” Lejano added.

As of Tuesday, both Delilan and Lejano received the subpoena and the annexes on January 4, 2010. (MAP)