By Mortz C. Ortigoza
LINGAYEN – A lady broadcaster will be arraigned at the Regional Trial Cour-69 here after she filed bail bond on the four libel cases charged against her by Pangasinan Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.
NEWS HEN’S BAIL. DWPR Broadcaster Lina M. Cervantes doing
the procedural thumb marks last Friday during her filling of her bail
bonds on the four libel cases charged against her by Pangasinan
Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr.
Lina M. Cervantes of DWPR-Radyo Asenso filed last Friday P20 thousand reduced bail bond at the office of RTC-69 Judge Loreto Alog who did not issue any more to the police her warrant of arrest.
“It is a reduced bond of P20 thousand from the P40,000 in the four libel cases,” Cervantes told Northern Watch.
A clerk at Alog’s office said that aside from the P20 thousand bond, Cervantes paid P800 for the judicial development fund (JDF).
Cervantes said she is still waiting for the resolution by the office of the prosecutor in San Carlos City, Pangasinan for the other four libel cases filed by the Governor last July against her.
Cervantes and her lawyer Joseph Emmanuel Cera will be coming back at the RTC here for her arraignment.
Arraignment, according to the law, is a criminal proceeding at which the defendant is officially called before a court of competent jurisdiction, informed of the offense charged in the complaint, information, indictment, or other charging document, and asked to enter a plea of guilty, not guilty, or as otherwise permitted by law.
It is still unknown if the governor will accompany his lawyers to attend the event as Cervantes will be asked to declare her innocence or guilt next week by the judge.
On July 9, the governor filed his complaint affidavits here to the comments of Cervantes he thought defamed him and his family.
But the lady broadcaster’s lawyer Cera said, after he and Cervantes filed their counter affidavit early of August this year, that cases filed by Governor Espino to Cervantes, a morning broadcaster, were not libelous because she based them on past public records like the black sand mining in Barangay Maluempec here were the governor and some provincial high officials were indicted by the Ombudsman, the charges of plunder against the governor by former Bugallon, Pangasinan Mayor Ric Orduna, and others.
One of the arguments of Cervantes on her counter affidavits at the prosecutor’s office in San Carlos City said that “even the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it relates to official conduct unless the public official proves that the statement was made with actual malice. That is with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not this is what the gist of the ruling in the landmark case New York Times v. Sullivan”.
Cera’s argument comes from one of the excerpts on the counter affidavit of Cervantes who said on her April 21, 2015 program about the governor and his gubernatorial aspirant's son and namesake Board Member Amado Espino III“... ipamana po niya pagnanakaw ng mga lupain diyan sa Brgy. Malimpuec para ipatayo iyong eco-tourism na ginawang black sand mining o nag i-extract sila, pinader ng mataas para hukayin itong mga buhangin para extract ang black sand na iyan, di ba (?)”.
Aside from Cervantes, Espino sued too with criminal libels DWPR broadcasters Macky Delgado and Tito Tamayo, and Action Radyo announcer Ike Palinar.