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Kagawad Edgar Kapirig Wins In Grave Slander Case Filed by Mariano Uy

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By Bohol Sunday Post

      The Office of the Regional State Prosecutor in Cebu City dismissed the complaint for grave slander that Deputy Mayor Mariano Uy filed against City Councilor Edgar Lo Kapirig.

      The regional state prosecutor’s opinion reversed the earlier omnibus resolution of the city prosecutor of Tagbilaran, finding probable cause in the grave slander complaint that Uy filed against Kapirig.

      In a four-page resolution dated July 21, 2008, Region 7 State Prosecutor Fernando Gubalane explained that Kapirig’s comment against Uy can be considered “related to the discharge of their official functions” and are of “public interest”.

      “A matter of public interest is a common property; hence, anybody may express an opinion” on it, Gubalane stated in the resolution.

      The regional prosecutor tackled the Tagbilaran City prosecutor’s omnibus resolution dated March 19, 2008, finding probable cause in the grave slander complaint against Kapirig and the order dated April 9, 2008, denying his motion for reconsideration.

      Uy’s complaint stemmed from an incident on November 16, last year when Kapirig told Dr. Alodiza Sepe of the Tagbilaran City Health Office and Maria Cecilia Fernan, an employee of the city government that he (Kapirig) believes the deputy mayor got money from the donations for the Botika sa Katawhan, “especially when there were dollar donations”.

      Sepe and Fernan are both detailed at the Botika sa Katawhan under the management of Uy.

      Kapirig was giving the two a ride home that afternoon after work.

      While inside the vehicle Kapirig allegedly asked some questions as to whether an audit has been conducted on Botika sa Katawhan and if the two were aware of the donations. Then Kapirig stated his opinion that he did not believe Uy never got money from it.

      The incident prompted Uy to file complaints on libel and grave slander against Kapirig before the city prosecutor’s office.

      Fernan, who happened to Uy’s niece, submitted an affidavit, containing the details of the incident.

      In defense, Kapirig explained that they were merely conversing in a casual manner.

      Kapirig further explained that his statements were “mere queries on material facts pertaining to the Botika sa Katawhan made in private conversation.”

      Being a city councilor and a taxpayer, he said, “he has the right to know and inquire about the Botika sa Katawhan, especially because it was created through the City Council. (ACLB)

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