Dad cleared of libel case
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) has cleared Cebu City Councilor Pastor Alcover, Jr. of libel after the prosecution failed to prove its case.
Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) district collector David Odilao, Jr., sued Alcover after the latter allegedly issued statements that he was kicked out from the ANAD Party-list because he was found to be only after the money and not the interest of the entire group.
RTC Branch 58 Judge Ma. Lynna Adviento, in her November 9, 2018 decision, dismissed the case in the absence of the fourth element of libel – the existence of malice.
"Foregoing considered, the court is not morally convinced that the fourth element of the crime is present," she ruled, adding the statements of Alcover published in a local newspaper was a reaction to the earlier statements made by Odilao.
"It is unfortunate that the private complainant should feel that he was maligned by the April 10, 2010 news article which was a reaction to his statements about the accused and published on March 31, 2010, which, as stated by Mr. Baquero, intended to balance previous news article," the decision further read.
Odilao testified that the article published in a newspaper on April 10, 2010 contained defamatory words that "besmirched his dignity, reputation and his family."
He denied that he was only after the money and had no interest to represent the ANAD Party-list because he was not in possession of the group’s funds.
For his part, Alcover issued statements based on the earlier statements of Odilao published in a newspaper.
Sought for comment, Alcover was elated after the court has acquitted him in the libel charge.
“At least, na-proven na gyud nga wala ko mamakak. Lipay na ko nga na proven kinsa’y namakak,” Alcover said.
He added he was not the one who called a reporter to make statements against Odilao, who reportedly made a new ANAD group and made statements that the former is the fake member of the group.
More than eight years ago, Alcover said he accepted Odilao in the ANAD Party-list but the former kicked out Odilao from the group when he found out that Odilao was reportedly collecting money representing the group.
Alcover said he received reports that it was Odilao who was making bad comments about him, stressing that he was just releasing his own statements against him also.
Adviento ordered the release of the bail bond Alcover has posted for his temporary liberty while the case was pending.