ORMOC CITY – The City Pros-ecutor’s office here has dismissed seven counts of libel cases filed separately by OCCCI board of directors and executives against the Eastern Visayas Mail (EV Mail) noting that “respondents exerted all efforts to be fair with both parties involved and in fact have gone the extra mile to seek both sides of the story.”
It was also learned that libel cases the same officials hurled against teleradyo personality Atty. Adelito Solibaga Jr. for commen-taries during his talk show “Kru-sada” were similarly dismissed.
To recall, some board direc-tors and executives of OCCCI or the Ormoc City Multi-Purpose Credit Cooperative, filed a com-plaint of libel versus the EV Mail in relation to a headline story “FB post on alleged anomalies rock OCCCI” last September.
The OCCCI directors and executives were aggrieved by the EV Mail story, saying it was mali-cious, defamatory and libelous. Those who filed the complaint were executives Mizpah Aira Taala, Segundino Bornasal, Arvin Villena, and directors Juan Labra, Gilberto Nuñez, Estela Suralta and Msgr. Manuel Damayo.
They sued EV Mail person-alities Lalaine M. Jimenea, Jose Sanro Jimenea, and Jima Zandra J. Vergara.
The OCCCI officials said that the news was based on the Facebook post of a fake account and that the newspaper reported on what is a private matter of the cooperative.
The post was about alleged commissions that some OCCCI officials made in some properties disposed by the cooperative.
The newspaper personalities countered, on the other hand, that what was published was based on what was already a printed mate-rial and that efforts were made to get all sides to the story. It was also the position of the EV Mail personalities that the matter, affecting around 62,000 OCCCI members, was of public interest and not private.
In his resolution, assistant city prosecutor Erwin Pedrosa said that, “if the published story would be closely examined it would show that respondents as media practitioners and publish-ers merely published a story which is of pure public interest and with fairness to both parties. Respondents exerted all efforts to be fair with both parties involved, and in fact have gone the extra mile to seek both sides of the story.”
In a related matter, another board member Iluminada Serenio, has filed the same complaint with the office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Sogod, Southern Leyte. The libel complaint was received by EV Mail personalities this week, who were given 10 days to reply to the complaint. Reported and edited by Lalaine Marcos