Tuesday, September 9, 2014

P’gasinan Reporter Sues with Online Libel


 MANGALDAN , Pangasinan –  This is the first Cyber Crime Law case in Pangasinan if not the country against a media man
UNFAZED: Media Man Ronnel de Vera

Ronnel de Vera, columnist and reporter of Sunday Report, has been charged by the principal of the Mangaldan National High School (MNHS) with libel and the Cyber Crime Laws for confederating and cooperating with three personnel of MNHS in imputing malicious charges and sowing dishonor to him.
Rosalino T. Agpalo said that Melissa D. De Guia, Priscilla G. Caberto,  and Salvador Emuslan circulated middle of this year in the compound of the MNHS the libelous and defamatory article titled “The Journey Is Over for the Fattest & Greediest Crocodile in Mangaldan”  printed on a coupon bond paper alluding to him a certain “Lolong (crocodile)”,  an educator with degrees in Ed. D and Ll.B. Agpalo cited that the respondents have committed several malicious and criminal acts against him that circulated in the papers by accusing him “ including, but not limited to, corruption, theft, bribery, malversation and illegal conversation  of funds, attempted rape, acts of lasciviousness, and usurpation of authority”.
FELT ALLUDED: Principal Rosalino T. Agpalo with bouquet
of roses.
He said that it was Caberto and Emuslan who circulated the poison articles written by De Guia while de Vera posted a copy of it at social network Face Book.
Agpalo said De Vera also published in his FaceBook account for the public to see an alleged vicious open letter purportedly addressed to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Officer and the Department of Environment & National Resources in Dagupan City. In that online article the respondents again claimed that “Lolong” has committed “corruption by unlawfully cutting some trees at the mini forest of the school and bringing them to his house. Excerpts of that article in the vernacular:
“May 3 teachers nagsumbong sa DENR isang byernes (sic) ng umaga na ang Lolong nagputol ng kahoy sa pinalagong mini-forest, ng (sic) walang permit at inilabas ni Lolong isang mainit na gabi ng Mayo xxx xxx xxx”.

He said De Guia, Caberto, Emuslan, and de Vera conspired and confederated with one another to publish the Open Letter that referred to him on Face Book thus dishonored him.
“These sample excerpts from the defamatory articles authored and circulated by the respondents, through a printed coupon bond sheet and posted in the internet, after they have conspired with one another, was clearly intended to discredit me by (1) calling me a liar; (2) imputing me to have committed illegal acts in; (3) imputing corruption to me by profiting from such illegal acts; bringing into disrepute my sense of morality; and (4) dishonoring and doubting my profession and degree. Clearly, these are not simple acts of expressing one’s opinion but a malicious demolition job both to dishonor and discredit me and to impute to me some illegal acts to which I am innocent”.
Meanwhile, De Vera, in his Counter-Affidavit, said Agpalo’s allegation that he felt alluded to as “Lolong” was imaginary, conjectural and a misconception.
“I did not mention any name nor did I mention Rosalino Agpalo and/or that “Lolong” is the same person. In fact in the original version of the leaflet which I acquired, the person who allegedly committed rape or acts of lasciviousness is his “maniac alalay (lascivious gofer)”, also unnamed,” he stressed.
Respondent said that on July 2014 district election of the Parents Teachers Association held at the MNHS’s library, being a freelance writer, he interviewed complainant and showed to him the unsigned letter containing innuendoes of a certain “Lolong”, illegally cutting trees and transporting pieces of wood from the school to elsewhere, for his comment.
De Vera said Agpalo told him: “I will not comment on the unsigned leaflet with unknown author”. Instead he told De Vera to reward him should he finds the author of the poison letter.

Respondent said he vehemently denied posted a libelous and/or defamatory material in his FaceBook’s account as alleged in paragraph 7 of the complaint.
“The letter-complaint addressed to the CENRO Officer containing allegations of illegal cutting of trees and transporting of cut wood was an honest publication, fair and true report made in good faith by exposing an illegal act committed by a government employee,” respondent justification.
Penalties on the new Cyber Crime Law metes  a sentence of six years and one day to 12 years  in jail and/or fine while Libel on the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines gives only below 4 years and 2 months of imprisonment or/and fine.

No comments:

Post a Comment