THE Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office is recommending the filing of a libel case against businessman Jonathan Guardo.
This is in relation to the complaint filed by the Cebu City Government, through former mayor Tomas Osmeña.
Former Sun.Star Cebu editor-in-chief Pachico Seares and former Sun. Star Cebu reporter Rene Martel were included in the libel case but were not included in the indictment.
The complaint stemmed from a Jan. 10, 2010-report where Guardo accused the City officials of trying to stop his distribution of food to fire victims in Barangay Calamba.
Osmeña said Guardo’s statements were false and without basis.
Guardo, in a text message, said he will file a motion for reconsideration.
He also wants assurance that proper judicial procedures are followed.
Alvin Butch Cañares, Guardo’s legal counsel, said they have yet to receive a copy of the resolution of the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office.
But he wondered why Seares and Martel were not included in the indictment when the
statements of his client were published in the newspaper.
“Nadutlan man kaha og libel unya wa’y labot ang publication ana? Tan-awon pa nako ang resolution ana. We will exhaust all legal remedies,” Cañares said.
In her seven-page resolution, Assistant City Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas recommended the filing of two counts of libel against Guardo.
She said four elements of libel--imputation of a discreditable act or condition to another, publication of the imputation, identity of the person defamed and existence of malice.
She found no reason to hold Seares and Martel liable for libel.
In their counter-affidavits, Seares and Martel asked for the dismissal of the case, saying no probable cause exists to warrant the filing of information for libel against them.
The recommendation of Rabillas was approved by City Prosecutor Nicolas Sellon, who became controversial after attempting to inhibit from handling the case.
Osmeña, who won against Guardo for congressman in the City’s south district, is determined to pursue the case.
He said Guardo should prove in court that the City stopped the distribution of relief goods.
“It’s a chance, an opportunity for him to prove (the allegations). We should not tolerate something like that, lain man kung insultuhon imong opponent but when you insult the City Government, lain sab na nga estorya,” Osmeña said.
City Attorney Joseph Bernaldez said they will still handle the libel case even if Osmeña is no longer mayor. (ETB)