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Libel case vs. Bohol publisher junked
« on: June 25, 2007, 10:45:33 PM »
Bohol Sunday Post
June 24, 2007

A case for libel filed by a bank teller against the Post publisher and a city-based lawyer was dismissed by the office of the city prosecutor.

A case for perjury filed by the same complainant against the same lawyer was also dismissed by the same office.

In an omnibus resolution, City Prosecutor I Conrado Supremo dismissed the libel case against the Post publisher and lawyer J. Albert Tinampay. In the same resolution the perjury charge against Tinampay and two of his staffers-Mila Anilabon and Helen Lopena.

The libel and perjury cases stemmed from the complaint of one April Yap, a teller of the Security Bank branch based in this city.

Records from the city prosecutor's office showed that Yap filed the complaints after she was accused by Tinampay's staffers of failing to encash a P1,000 because it was a bogus bill.

Tinampay gave instruction to Alinabon to encash a check worth P16,5000 in the bank but his errand girl came back with the P1,000 fake bill. Two hours after receiving the money, she returned, this time, accompanied by Lopena to complain that one of 1,000 peso bills was fake. The two girls then demanded for replacement but Yap refused saying that it was against bank policy.

Yap contended that the bank could not replace the bogus bill since it had already left the premises of the bank. The procedure is that the replacement should have been done before the complainants left the bank.

To seek redress from the failure of the bank to encash the P1,000 fake bill, Tinampay filed a criminal complaint in the city prosecution office against Yap for violation of the Revised Penal Code or Illegal Possession of Use of False Treasury or bank notes and other instruments of credit. The case was supported by a joint affidavit of his two staff members. However, after the preliminary investigation, the case was dismissed.

That gave rise to the perjury case filed by Yap against Tinampay and his two staffers.

LIBEL

The libel case against the Post publisher came after the publication was furnished a copy of Tinampay's complaint.

In dismissing the libel charge, Supremo citing several landmark decisions on libel, found no cogent reason to find probable against the Post publisher. He said the affidavit of Tinampay furnished to the Post as basis of the news story contained no defamatory remarks and therefore the publication was based on facts and records like in this case.

In dismissing the perjury case, the prosecutor zeroed in on the question whether there was falsehood in the affidavits of the respondents upon material matter and whether it was a willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood.

Finding none of the elements for perjury to prosper in court, the investigating prosecutor dismissed the perjury case against the lawyer and two his staffers.

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