Dad cleared of li­bel case

The Freeman - - NEWS - — Mylen P. Manto, Jean Marvette A. De­me­cillo/GAN

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.

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