Ongpin, Inquirer chief ed cleared

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The Makati Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the libel complaint of lawyer Zenaida Ongkiko-Acorda against businessman Roberto V. Ongpin and INQUIRER editor in chief Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc over two paid advertisements that the businessman had published in the INQUIRER in August 2011.

In a resolution dated June 20, 2013, but furnished the INQUIRER only Saturday, Makati Assistant City Prosecutor Leila Llanes said she found no probable cause to indict Ongpin and Magsanoc for the crime of libel.

Llanes said she was dismissing the libel charges as “the statements in the published articles appear to be true and imbued with public interest,” and there was no malice on Ongpin’s part when he publicly questioned the authority of the complainant, Acorda.

The complaint stemmed from two ads that Ongpin took out in the Aug. 12 and Aug. 23, 2011, issues of the INQUIRER wherein he questioned Acorda’s authority to act as a spokesperson and legal counsel of the Development Bank of the Philippines.

Ongpin pointed out that being a government-owned corporation, the DBP needed clearances from the Office of the Government Corporate Counsel and the Commission on Audit before it could engage a private lawyer.

Ongpin said Acorda was not able to show clearances from the OGCC and COA when she admittedly acted as the DBP’s spokesperson in the aftermath of the August 2011 suicide of DBP lawyer Benjamin Pinpin.

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