Cebu News

Caindec MR in cyber libel case dismissed

Gregg M. Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  Land Transportation Office-7 director Victor Emmanuel Caindec has lost anew in his cyber libel charges against the corporate officers and board of directors of five motorcycle dealership corporations.

The Office of the Mandaue City Prosecutor has denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Caindec to the original joint resolution dismissing the charges for lack of probable cause.

Named respondents are Desmark Corporation, Premio Corporation, DES Strong Motors Inc., Du Ek Sam Incorporated, and DES Marketing Inc.

The joint resolution denying the motion was dated February 10, 2022 and penned by Associate City Prosecutor Julius Pilapil, recommended for approval by Deputy City Prosecutor Sara Vanessa Lacno and duly approved by City Prosecutor Mary Francis Daquipil. It was received by the respondents on March 15, 2022.

The case stemmed from the alleged defamatory Facebook posts of the respondents on February 15, 2021 stating that their dealings with Caindec greatly deteriorated upon their outright refusal to pay “SOP” or under the table in the amount of P500 per unit of motorcycle.

Caindec filed separate complaints, in his personal capacity and in his capacity as regional director of LTO-7, against the respondents for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

On August 15, 2021, the OCP of Mandaue City dismissed the charges upon the recommendation of Associate City Prosecutor Cherrie Mae Cabrera-Cabilte, duly approved by City Prosecutor Daquipil, for lack of probable cause.

“Apart from the finding of lack of the three essential elements of libel, undersigned is also of the view, that complainant’s representative, RD Caindec, does not have the authority to file the instant cases on behalf of the LTO VII as well,” read a portion of the joint resolution.

In his motion for reconsideration, Caindec argued that he had been identified in the official statement posted by the respondents and his reputation was allegedly injured.

But Pilapil said the accusations made in the official statement directed against the personnel of LTO VII in general could not be considered as defamatory.

“Thus, there is no reason to disturb the findings of the assailed Resolution when it found ‘that although the accusations against the personnel of LTO VII are insulting, the same is not however defamatory, based on the xxx disquisitions by the Highest Tribunal [that public officials ‘should not be too onion-skinned and should be tolerant of criticism’ especially when criticism relates to his or her official functions],” read the resolution.

It added that “even assuming arguendo that the accusations against LTO VII or its personnel are defamatory, the instant Motion for Reconsideration must still be denied because the element of actual malice is absent.” — JMD (FREEMAN)


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