CA affirms libel conviction of doctor’s accuser
THE Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the conviction of a man who distributed libelous materials against two doctors in Cebu City.
In his ruling, Associate Justice Melchor Sadang of the appellate’s court 18th division found Victor Lee liable of libel and ordered to pay more than half a million pesos in damages.
Lee was accused of disseminating defamatory materials against Dr. Jovito Lee Sr. and his son Dr. Jovito Lee Jr. whom he referred to as “satanic doctors who fed 25 children to vultures.”
Lee Jr., a licensed general pediatrician since 1986, said he learned about the person who has been distributing libelous materials against him and his father for a decade.
In Nov. 2000, Lee Jr. received a letter from the accused which contained the libelous statements.
On Jan. 8, 2001, his attention was called by his secretary and co-workers that the accused was distibuting libelous materials at the entrance of his clinic at the Cebu Doctors University Hospital (CDUH) Science Building in Cebu City.
He instructed his secretary to take a picture of the accused. Lee Jr. said the accused shouted that he and his father were “satanic doctors and pedophiles” in front of several people.
He said there is no doctor in CDUH who has the same name as him. Lee Jr. said some of his patients eventually left him and he suffered loss of income.
The accused said his 13-year-old daughter had severe stomach pain and was brought to Lee Sr. for treatment. But the doctor failed to diagnosed the girl’s condition.
His daughter was referred to another doctor who found out that the girl had an acute appendicitis for which an operation was conducted.
Even if the operation was successful, the accused was angry at the doctors.
He filed charges of gross negligence and unprofessional conduct against the doctors before the Philippine Medical Association Commission on Ethics. The case was dismissed. Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol
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.