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
of thedefamatory matter to some third person orpersons.
Hence, sending a latter in a
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
If the defamatory imputation is not publishedthere is NO crime. The law permits us to think
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