|Ed Ventura and Grace Inocentes|
In the first complaint, Gov. Migz and former Gov. LRay said that said that were maligned by the respondents due to the alleged libellous statements aired over DWNX, particularly in the programs “Bakong Iyo?” and “Doble Pasada.”
As alleged by the complainants, respondents Inocentes and Ventura aired statements which seemed to insinuate that they were at fault in the non-payment or delay in the payment of salaries of the employees of the Provincial Government. They also said stated in their complaint that the only purpose of the respondents was to cast dishonor and to malign them in the eyes of the public.
The complainants believe that the statements regarding the failure or delay in the release of the employees’ salaries are defamatory because it would appear that: (1) The Provincial Government is problematic in cash position; (2) That the funds for salaries are being utilized to pay for loans; (3) IRA was held by the DBP; 4. The fund are being utilized for personal and political purposes.
Inocentes and Ventura, in their counter-affidavit, stated: (1) that their statement are purely hinged on the conduct of official functions of the officials of both national and local government, and over-all official conduct of some local government units like the Province of Camarines Sur; and (2) that their commentary was not to malign any specific public official’s name but to positively criticize on official conduct affecting the welfare of the people and the proper use of the Public money entrusted to them as Public Officials.
After thorough evaluation of the complaint and the answer thereto, Camarines Sur Provincial Prosecutor Richard T. Cu, upon the recommendation of Prosecutor II Art R. Teoxon decided to dismiss the complaint.
“A public officer must not be too thin-skinned with reference to comment upon his official acts. The instant complaint is simply making a mountain out of a molehill,” said the order of dismissal.
“A radio and TV would have little reason for existence if broadcast would be limited to bland, obsequious, or pleasantly entertaining utterances,” the same order added.
Second Libel Complaint
In the second complaint for libel against Carlo M. Batalla, Eric S. Canoy, Enrico Guido O. Canoy, Alfredo B. Ubana, Ed Ventura and Rogelio Orillosa, Jr., the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor also declared that there was no probable cause, hence it was also dismissed.
Both dismissal orders were received by the respondents yesterday (September 13, 2016).