Cyberlibel complaints vs Rappler, ex-Quiboloy followers scrapped
MANILA, Philippines — The City Prosecutor of Cagayan de Oro has dismissed the cyberlibel complaints lodged against four reporters of an online news outlet, a religious professor, and three former followers of Kingdom of Jesus Christ (KJC) church Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, due to a lack of sufficient evidence.
Based on a three-page resolution dated February 18, a copy of which was released only on Monday to members of the media, the city prosecutor dropped the cyberlibel complaints filed against Rappler reporters Herbie Gomez, Pia Rañada, Vernise Tantuco, and Inday Espina-Varona; KJC’s former members Arlene Stone, Faith Killion, and Reynita Fernandez; and Ateneo de Manila University professor Jayeel Cornelio.
The complaints were filed by Cherry Seguiro Cabrillos, who claimed to be a cluster coordinator of Quiboloy’s KJC, according to the document.
The city prosecutor pointed out that Cabrillos was not even mentioned in the news stories while Quiboloy did not execute his own affidavit.
“To be liable for libel, the following elements must be present: (1) imputation of a crime, vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance; (2) publicity or publication; (3) malice; (4) direction of such imputation at a natural or juridical person; (5) and tendency to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of the person defamed,” the resolution reads.
“As to Cherry Cabrillos, the elements are not all present. She was not identified in the articles and recordings… As to Apollo Quiboloy, the elements are not all present. Although he was identified in the articles and recordings, he did not execute an affidavit. There is no showing that, as to Apollo Quiboloy, Cherry Cabrillos is competent to establish the presence of the fifth element,” it further states.
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