Saturday, September 21, 2019

Osmeña’s son files libel vs. broadcaster

BARELY two months after a judge junked the libel case filed by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña against broadcast-journalist Pablito “Bobby” Nalzaro, the radio commentator is facing a new libel suit.

This time, the libel complaint was filed by Osmeña’s son, Ramon Miguel, who accused Nalzaro of maligning his reputation when the broadcaster tagged him in his column as having engaged in the illegal butane canister refilling business.

Miguel filed the complaint for violation of Republic Act 10175, or the Cyber Crime Prevention Act of 2012, in relation to Art. 355 of the Revised Penal Code, against Nalzaro before the Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor.

“It is really unfair for a private citizen like me to be maligned, with no basis whatsoever, by a media personality like him,” read Miguel’s complaint affidavit prepared by his lawyer, Amando Virgil Ligutan.

Nalzaro was unfazed by the complaint.

“It is also his (Miguel) right to file the complaint,” said Nalzaro, adding that he is ready to face it.

In his affidavit, Miguel said Nalzaro wrote in two columns in this paper insinuating that he was in the illegal butane canister refilling business.

Denying the accusation, Miguel said it is obvious that Nalzaro was merely using him to attack his father.

“It is just unfair. I have been striving to keep my name untarnished for the past 30 years. As a private citizen, I believe it is my right not to be maligned in public by media personalities like Nalzaro,” said Miguel in his complaint.

In August, Regional Trial Court Judge Gilbert Moises junked the libel case filed by Mayor Osmeña against Nalzaro in 2014.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed on Dec. 14, 2014 by Osmeña, who alleged that Nalzaro besmirched his reputation when the broadcaster accused him of fabricating charges when he filed multiple administrative complaints against Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas before the Civil Service Commission.

In his eight-page order, Moises granted Nalzaro’s manifestation to withdraw the charge information after the Department of Justice junked the libel case against the broadcaster.

Since Osmeña is a public figure, Moises held that it is inevitable that he may be subjected to fair commentaries involving public interest or even criticisms.

Nalzaro, a SunStar Cebu and SunStar 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 report, which he said would show that Cuevas could not be criminally or administratively held liable for the city’s fiscal management. GMD


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