The Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office has found probable cause that libel had been committed by 20 Martial Law victims in Negros Occidental, against their lawyer who processed their monetary awards before the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board.
Deputy City Prosecutor Emmanuel Lope Lupisan in a January 18 resolution, a copy of which was furnished DAILY STAR yesterday, said that probable cause was found against the 20 for committing libel against lawyer Rey Gorgonio, and recommended the filing of charges against them.
His resolution was approved by Dennis Jarder, OIC City Prosecutor.
In June last year Gorgonio filed complaints for six counts of libel against each of the 20 human rights victims before the Office of the City Prosecutor’s Officein Bacolod City.
The 20 beneficiaries sued are Ma. Fe Tanallon, Edmundo Diaz, VioletaOyos, Emelita Rivera, Noel Jimenez, Monica Patorio, Norma Patorio, Joemema Guillermo, Rafael Jamen, Paquito Diaz, LeteciaHisona, Carlito Saison, InocencioMalacapay, Roberto Doro, Sixto Doro, Sonny Boy Eno, Emma Doro, Leoniso Francisco, DaniloMalimbag, and Carlos Catalan, the resolution states.
In June last year the beneficiaries alleged that they were forced to give 20 percent of their monetary award to Gorgonio.
However, the complaint-affidavit of Gorgonio, said that there was a contingency arrangement agreed on by the 20 beneficiaries, that they would pay 20 percent from each of their compensatory awards if they recover any from the Human Rights Victims' Claims Board.
The prosecutor’s resolution said that, based on the evidence presented by Gorgonio, probable cause for libel was found against the beneficiaries.
“The issue in this case in not whether the respondents’ public statements against Gorgonio are true. The issue is whether the respondents’ public statements and the distribution of the statement dated June 10, 2018 to the media were done in good faith and with good intentions,” the resolution said.
Gorgonio was represented by lawyer Guillermo Tejida III.*
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