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Title 13 - Honor

Title 13 - Honor

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Published by Sui

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Published by: Sui on Jun 14, 2011
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Title ThirteenCRIMES AGAINST HONOR
Chapter One. LibelSection One. Definition, forms and punishmentof this crimeArticle 353. LibelArticle 354. Requirement for publicityArticle 355. Libel by means of writings orsimilar meansArticle356. Threatening to publish and offerto present such publication for acompensationArticle 357. Prohibited publication of actsreferred to in the course of officialproceedingsArticle 358. SlanderArticle 359. Slander by deedSection Two. General ProvisionsArticle 360. Persons responsibleArticle 361. Proof of the truthArticle 362. Libelous remarksChapter Two. Incriminatory MachinationsArticle 363. Incriminating innocent personsArticle 364. Intriguing against honor
Article 353. Definition of Libel
A libel is a public and malicious imputation of acrime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary,or any act, omission, condition, status, orcircumstances tending to cause the dishonor,discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridicalperson, or to blacken the memory of one whois dead.Elements:1.There must be an imputation of acrime, or of a vice or defect, real orimaginary, or any act, omission,condition, status, or circumstance;2.The imputation must be made publicly;3.It must be malicious;4.The imputation must be directed at anatural or juridical person, or one whois dead;5.The imputation must tend to cause thedishonor, discredit or contempt of theperson defamed. There must be a defamatory imputation. Theimputation may cover:a.crime allegedly committed bythe offended party;b.vice or defect, real orimaginary, of the offendedparty; orc.any act or omission, condition,status of, or circumstancerelating to the offended party.
“Defamation” is the proper term for libel asused in Art. 353.
“Libel” strictly is a defamation committed bymeans of writing, printing, lithography,engraving, radio, phonograph …. or any similarmeans.
When the defamation is oral, it is called“slander”.
Seditious libel is punished not in this chapterbut in Art. 142 (Inciting to sedition).
Test of defamatory character of words used:A charged is sufficient if the words arecalculated to induce the hearers to supposeand understand that the person against whomthey were uttered was guilty of certainoffenses, or are sufficient to impeach hishonesty, virtue or reputation, or to hold him upto public ridicule.
The meaning of the writer is immaterial. It isnot the intention of the writer or speaker, orthe understanding of the plaintiff or of anyhearer or reader by which the actionablequality of the words is to be determined, butthe meaning that the words in fact conveyedon the minds of persons of reasonableunderstanding, discretion and candor, takinginto consideration the surroundingcircumstances which were known to the heareror reader.
ELEMENT 1: IMPUTATIONExamples:* Imputation of a vice
imputing upon aperson lascivious and immoral habits in anarticle* Imputation of an act or omission
“Xborrows money without intention to pay, shehad her breasts augmented without paying thedoctor”* Imputation of condition, status orcircumstance
calling another a bastard ormangkukulam
ELEMENT 2: PUBLICATION
Publication is the
communication
of thedefamatory matter to some third person orpersons.
Hence, sending a latter in a
sealed 
envelopethrough a messenger is not publication. Butsending to the wife, a letter defamatory of herhusband, is sufficient publication. (The persondefamed is the husband and the wife is alreadyconsidered a 3
rd
person)
If the defamatory imputation is not publishedthere is NO crime. The law permits us to think
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer154
 
as badly as we please of our neighbors so longas we keep our uncharitable thought toourselves.
ELEMENT 3: MALICE
 
Malice is used to indicate that the offender isprompted by personal ill-will or spite andspeaks merely to injure the reputation of theperson defamed.
Malice may be in-fact or in-law.
 
Malice in fact
 - must be proved by a showing of ill-will, hatredor purpose to injure
 
Malice in law
- is presumed from a defamatory imputation
proof of malice is not required
(The distinction exists for purposes of determining WON there is defamation whereprivileged communication is involved thus:) Asa general rule, malice in law is presumed froma defamatory imputation. But where privilegedcommunication is involved, malice (in law) isNOT presumed
the plaintiff must provemalice in fact. In either case, where malice infact is present, justifiable motives cannot existand the imputations become actionable. ELEMENT 4: IDENTIFICATION
It must be shown that at least a 3
rd
personcould identify the offended party as the objectof the libelous publication.
But libel published in different parts may betaken together to establish the identification of the offended party.ELEMENT 5: DISHONOR, DISCREDIT, CONTEMPT
Dishonor – disgrace, shame, ignominyDiscredit loss of credit or reputation;disesteemContempt – state of being despised There are as many offenses as there werepersons defamed (PP vs. Del Rosario). Whenthe alleged slanderous utterances werecommitted on the same date and at the sameplace, but against two different persons, thesituation has given rise to two separate andindividual causes for prosecution, with respectto each of the persons defamed.
Mercado vs. CFI
Petitioner was charged with libel for imputing to Mrs.Virginia Mercado acts constituting enrichment thru corruptpractices. The offensive telegram which contained theallegations was addressed to the Secretary of the,Department of Public Works and Communicationspurportedly in line with President Marcos' appeal to thepublic to give information on undesirable employees in thegovernment service to achieve the objectives of the NewSociety. He filed an MTD on the ground of the telegrambeing privileged communication. After the same wasdenied, a MTQ, alleging that the facts charged do notconstitute an offense, was filed but when the same againmet with a denial, the present action was instituted toannul the aforesaid orders. Respondents, in theirComment, stressed there was absence of any privilege,there being malice and bad faith, petitioner having beenmotivated by vengeance and ill-will in making the saidcommunication as established by his previous conduct viz aviz the private respondent: the filing of several complaints,both administrative and criminal aimed to malign her goodcharacter and reputation which were subsequentlydismissed or closed for lack of merit and/or insufficiency of evidence.HELD: Petition dismissed. Qualified privilegecommunication may be lost by proof of malice. Theprosecution should be given the opportunity of provingmalice in view of petitioner's conduct towards privaterespondent which casts doubt on his good faith.
Agbayani vs. Sayo
Mahinan, manager of the Cagayan Valley Branch of the GSISat Cauayan, Isabela, file at Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya acomplaint for written defamation against 4 subordinates.The 4 accused filed a MTQ, contending that the CFI NuevaVizcaya has no jurisdiction over the case.HELD: The proper venue of Mahinan’s criminal actionagainst the petitioners is the CFI Isabela, since as GSISbranch manager, he was a public officer stationed atCauayan, Isabela and that alleged libel was committedwhen he was in the public service.
Newsweek vs. IAC
An article entitled “An Island of Fear” was published inNewsweek. The author wrote that that the island provinceof Negros Occidental is a place dominated by biglandowners who not only exploited the impoverished andunderpaid sugarcane laborers, but also brutalized andkilled them with impunity. The sugarcane plantersinstituted a class action for libel.HELD: To maintain a libel suit, a victim must beidentifiable. Defamatory matter which does not reveal theidentity of the person upon whom the imputation is castaffords no ground of action unless it can be shown that thereaders of the libel could have identified the personality of the individual defamed. Defamatory remarks directed at agroup of persons is not actionable unless the statementsare all-embracing or sufficiently specific for the victim tobe identifiable.
Lacsa vs. IAC
Lacsa and Marquez were officers of the PhilippineColumbian Association. Lacsa uncovered a glitch in thequalification of Marquez to be president. He addressed aletter to Marquez in the ff. tenor: that Marquez should stepdown from the presidency, because the position is openonly for proprietary members and Marquez has failed toshow any proof of his proprietary membership, that in viewof these, he has been holding the position in a de facto
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer155
 
capacity. This letter was published in the publication of theassociation.HELD: The test of libelous meanings is not the analysis of asentence into component phrases with the meticulous careof the grammarian or stylist, but the import conveyed bythe entirety of the language to the ordinary reader. TheSolGen is correct in holding that the imputation of beingcalled a de facto president is tantamount to beingacknowledged as a pretender or impostor.
Soriano vs. IAC
Soriano’s criminal liability was based on an articlepublished in “The Guardian”, of which he is the editor. Thebasis of the article was a press release prepared inTacloban and delivered to various newspapers. Theintended circulation of “The Guardian” is nationwide. Thelibel case was docked at the RTC Letye. Soriano filed nMTQ on the basis of improper venue. He argues that theLeyte court had no jurisdiction because the publicationhouse of “The Guardian” was located in Quezon City andthat Tantuico also holds office in QC.HELD: Local jurisprudence follow the “multiplepublication” rule – that each and every publication of thesame libel suit constitutes a separate offense, and warrantsa separate cause of action for filing a libel suit. However,the publication requirement set forth by RPC360 refers tothe “publication” (the official circulating organ) and notthe “press release”. In harmonizing RPC360 with the“multiple publication” rule, the “press release” is not thedocument to be examined. Since the official publication isproduced in QC and was not proven to have beenproduced/copied in Leyte or elsewhere, the trial shouldhave been handled by a QC court.
Bulletin vs. Noel
The article contained statements to the effect thatAmerican influence was a significant driver of the politicalascendancy of the Mindalanos of Lanao. Complainantsclaimed this was an insulting statement that damaged thesocial standing of the clan.HELD: The published work alleged to contain the libelousexcerpt must be examined and viewed as a whole. Titles of royalty and nobility are not generally recognized oracknowledged socially in the national community. Personalhurt or embarrassment, even if real, is not automaticallyequivalent to defamation. The law against defamationprotects the interest of a person in acquiring, retaining,and enjoying a reputation as good as one’s character andconduct warrant in the community. It is the communitystandards, not personal or family standards, that a courtmust refer in evaluation a publication claimed to bedefamatory.
Santos vs. CA
The article published was a verbatim copy of a complainedfiled by Sandejas with the SEC against the brokerage firmof Carlos Sison.HELD: The public article is but a faithful reproduction of apleading filed before a quasi-judicial body. There are noembellishments, wild imputations etc. calculated todamage the reputation of the offended parties and exposethem to public contempt. No valid cause of action toinstitute an action for libel exists.
Sazon vs. CA
HELD: When the imputation is already held defamatory,malice on the part of the defendant (malice-in-fact) neednot be proved because the law already presumes that theimputation is malicious (malice-in-law).Defamatory remarks and comments on the conduct or actsof public officers which are related to the discharge of their duties will not constitute libel if the defendant provesthat truth of the imputation (thus a form of privilegedcommunication), but any attack on the private capacitiesof a public officer clearly beyond the scope of his officialduties may constitute libel.Even if the article falls under the cloak of privilegedcommunications, it will not discount the fact that he wrotethe same with malice, due to grudges an ill-will attendantin the circumstances surrounding the facts.
Vasquez vs. CA
HELD: If the defamatory statement is made against a publicofficial with respect to the discharge of his official dutiesand functions and the truth of the allegation is shown, theaccused will be entitled to an acquittal even though hedoesn’t prove that the imputation was published with goodmotives and for justifiable ends. (Because, upon proof of truth, the burden of proving that the offender acted withmalice would be on the public officer)Actual Malice Rule – Even if the defamatory statement isfalse, no liability can attach if it relates to official conduct,unless the public official concerned proves that thestatement was made with knowledge that it was false orwith reckless disregard of whether it was false or not.
Navarette vs. CA
Petitioner claims that private respondent alluded to himwhen she said the words "stupid", "bastards", "swindlers",and "plunderers" while testifying on the Deed of Sale withRight of Repurchase subject of a civil case. In her Answer,private respondent cited decisions
 
of the Supreme Court tothe effect that no action for libel or for damages may befounded on utterances made in the course of judicialproceedings.HELD: It is a settled principle in this jurisdiction that
statements made in the course of judicial proceedingsare absolutely privileged
. This absolute privilege remainsregardless of the defamatory tenor and the presence of malice if the same are relevant, pertinent or material tothe cause in hand or subject of the inquiry. Thus, theperson making these statements such as a judge, lawyer orwitness does not thereby incur the risk of being foundliable thereon in a criminal prosecution or an action for therecovery of damages.
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer156

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