New judge for Nalzaro libel case
A NEW judge will take over the libel case filed by former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña against tri-media personality Pablito “Bobby” Nalzaro.
Judge Ricky Jones Macabaya of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 in Cebu City recently decided to voluntarily inhibit himself from handling the case.
The neophyte judge said he used to be the public prosecutor in another libel case filed by Osmeña against businessman Jonathan Guardo in 2010.
READ: New judge gets Nalzaro’s libel case
Macabaya, at that time, served as the resident prosecutor of RTC 18 where the case between Osmeña and Guardo were tried. The two political rivals eventually arrived at an amicable settlement in 2011.
Osmeña withdrew the libel charges he filed against Guardo who in turn issued a public apology to the congressman and the Cebu City government.
While the case against Guardo did not prosper, Macabaya deemed it proper to let go of the case filed by Osmeña against Nalzaro to avoid any suspicion or insinuation.
In a text message to CDN, Nalzaro welcomed Macabaya’s decision to inhibit himself from the case. “I thank him for having a delicadeza,” he said.
Macabaya earlier issued an arrest warrant against Nalzaro after the case was raffled to him last June 8. Nalzaro immediately posted bail of P10,000 last June 11 to secure temporary liberty pending trial.
His lawyers are waiting for the resolution of the Department of Justice which they requested to review the findings of the prosecutor who indicted Nalzaro.
Osmeña earlier filed a libel case against Nalzaro for allegedly accusing him of fabricating charges against Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas in an attempt to sabotage the administration of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
The former mayor had filed 38 counts in an administrative complaint against Cuevas before the Department of Finance over alleged lapses in handling financial transactions of Cebu City based on findings of the 2012 and 2013 audit reports of the Commission on Audit (COA).
Prosecutor Jesus Rodrigo Taga-an found probable cause to indict Nalzaro for “intentionally” and “maliciously” maligning Osmeña in his column published in Sun.Star Cebu on Oct. 25, 2014.
In his resolution, Taga-an said Nalzaro’s use of the word “fabricated” placed Osmeña in a bad light.
The prosecutor said Osmeña was able to show proof that the administrative cases he filed against Cuevas were not fabricated and were all based on the findings of COA.
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