Caindec loses appeal on cyber libel charges vs 5 motorcycle dealers
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu — For lack of probable cause, the Office of the Prosecutor in Mandaue City has denied the motion for reconsideration which Land Transportation Office Central Visayas (LTO-7) Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec filed over his cyber libel case against the corporate officers and board of directors of five motorcycle dealers.
“Apart from the finding of lack of the three essential elements of libel, undersigned is also of the view, that Complainant’s representative, RD Caindec, does not have the authority to file the instant cases on behalf of the LTO VII as well,” read a portion of the joint resolution dated February 10, 2022.
The joint resolution penned by Associate City Prosecutor Julius Pilapil and duly approved by City Prosecutor Mary Francis Daquipil was received by the respondents on March 15, 2022.
Named respondents in the complaint are corporate officers and board of directors of Desmark Corp., Premio Corp., DES Strong Motors, Inc., Du Ek Sam Inc., and DES Marketing, Inc.
The case stemmed from the alleged defamatory Facebook posts of the respondents on February 15, 2021 which mentioned that their dealings with Caindec greatly deteriorated upon their outright refusal to pay “SOP” in the amount of P500 per unit of motorcycle.
Caindec filed separate complaints, on his personal capacity and on his capacity as LTO-7 director, against the respondents for violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
On August 15, 2021, the Office of the Mandaue City Prosecutor ordered the charges dismissed “for lack of probable cause.”
Caindec filed a motion for recommendation and argued that he had been identified in the official statement posted by the respondents; thus affecting his reputation.
Pilapil said the accusations made in the official statement and which were directed against LTO-7 personnel, in general, could not be considered as defamatory.
“Thus, there is no reason to disturb the findings of the assailed Resolution when it found ‘that although the accusations against the personnel of LTO VII are insulting, the same is not however defamatory, based on the xxx disquisitions by the Highest Tribunal [that public officials ‘should not be too onion-skinned and should be tolerant of criticism’ especially when criticism relates to his or her official functions],” read the resolution.
It added that “even assuming arguendo that the accusations against LTO VII or its personnel are defamatory, the instant Motion for Reconsideration must still be denied because the element of actual malice is absent.”
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