Ex-Speaker Alvarez faces libel raps
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has greenlighted the filing of libel charges against former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for supposedly painting “defamatory” and “malicious imputations” against Davao del Norte 2nd district Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. when he accused the latter of being a “land grabber.”
In a six-page resolution dated April 26, Assistant Prosecutor Marizen Grutas rejected Alvarez’s plea for the dismissal of the libel complaint filed against him.
Grutas noted that Alvarez’s statement “Hindi Floireindo apelyido ko para maging land grabber” in a March 21, 2018 press conference was “malicious imputations” which had been published in both print, TV and online media.
“Given the acrimonious relationship of the parties (Alvarez and Floirendo), the motives of (Alvarez) in making such statements and that he has no actual malice in when he made the defamatory statement is highly suspect,” the prosecutor added.
The “defenses” raised by Alvarez in refuting the libel complaint could be “best ventilated during the trial proper,” Grutas added.
‘Nothing to worry’
In a text message to INQUIRER.net, Alvarez said he had not received a copy of the resolution.
“My lawyers will attend to it as soon as we receive it, nothing to worry,” he added.
The filing of libel charges stemmed from Alvarez’s tirades against the Floirendo family that is operating the 5,000-hectare Tagum Development Corporation (Tadeco).
In a statement on Thursday, Floirendo said Alvarez initiated the attacks against him “in an effort to nullify Tadeco’s contract with the government for the production and export of Cavendish banana.”
Floirendo further reiterated that the remark “wrongfully imputes a crime, vice, or defect against Floireindo and his family and accused them as land grabbers.”
Alvarez earlier maintained that he was only giving comments based on his personal knowledge. /jpv
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.