Libel case vs reporter dismissed
The Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed a libel complaint filed by a former special operations head of the defunct Presidential Anti-Smuggling Group in Mindanao against a newspaper reporter for lack of probable cause.
In a resolution issued recently, Assistant City Prosecutor Ramoncito Bienvenido T. Ocampo Jr. said that Mohammad Aquia failed to prove existence of malice on the part of People’s Tonight senior reporter Alfred Dalizon.
Aquia filed a libel case against Dalizon, saying the latter wrote two articles in People’s Tonight about a raid conducted by agents of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (HPG) under then Chief Supt. Leonardo A. Espina on his house in General Santos City on Feb. 23, 2012.
Espina later gave an interview to reporters, including Dalizon and ABS-CBN “TV Patrol” reporter Doland Castro, in which the police official described Aquia as a known car thief with links to a car theft syndicate in the southern Philippines.
In his counteraffidavit, Dalizon denied that the contents of his articles were malicious and libelous as these were based on interviews with HPG officers and documents.
“No evidence was proffered to show any ill motive which prompted the respondent to injure the reputation of the complainant. Wherefore, premises considered, for want of evidence to establish probable cause, it is respectfully recommend that this case be dismissed,” the prosecutor said.
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