This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Definition, forms and punishment of this crime Article 353. Libel Article 354. Requirement for publicity Article 355. Libel by means of writings or similar means Article356. Threatening to publish and offer to present such publication for a compensation Article 357. Prohibited publication of acts referred to in the course of official proceedings Article 358. Slander Article 359. Slander by deed Section Two. General Provisions Article 360. Persons responsible Article 361. Proof of the truth Article 362. Libelous remarks Chapter Two. Incriminatory Machinations Article 363. Incriminating innocent persons Article 364. Intriguing against honor
“Defamation” is the proper term for libel as used in Art. 353. “Libel” strictly is a defamation committed by means of writing, printing, lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph …. or any similar means. When the defamation is oral, it is called “slander”. Seditious libel is punished not in this chapter but in Art. 142 (Inciting to sedition). Test of defamatory character of words used: A charged is sufficient if the words are calculated to induce the hearers to suppose and understand that the person against whom they were uttered was guilty of certain offenses, or are sufficient to impeach his honesty, virtue or reputation, or to hold him up to public ridicule. The meaning of the writer is immaterial. It is not the intention of the writer or speaker, or the understanding of the plaintiff or of any hearer or reader by which the actionable quality of the words is to be determined, but the meaning that the words in fact conveyed on the minds of persons of reasonable understanding, discretion and candor, taking into consideration the surrounding circumstances which were known to the hearer or reader. ELEMENT 1: IMPUTATION Examples: * Imputation of a vice → imputing upon a person lascivious and immoral habits in an article * Imputation of an act or omission → “X borrows money without intention to pay, she had her breasts augmented without paying the doctor” * Imputation of condition, status or circumstance → calling another a bastard or mangkukulam ELEMENT 2: PUBLICATION Publication is the communication of the defamatory matter to some third person or persons. Hence, sending a latter in a sealed envelope through a messenger is not publication. But sending to the wife, a letter defamatory of her husband, is sufficient publication. (The person defamed is the husband and the wife is already considered a 3rd person) If the defamatory imputation is not published there is NO crime. The law permits us to think C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 154
Article 353. Definition of Libel A libel is a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstances tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead. Elements: 1. There must be an imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, 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 a natural or juridical person, or one who is dead; 5. The imputation must tend to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt of the person defamed. There must be a defamatory imputation. The imputation may cover: a. crime allegedly committed by the offended party; b. vice or defect, real or imaginary, of the offended party; or c. any act or omission, condition, status of, or circumstance relating to the offended party.
as badly as we please of our neighbors so long as we keep our uncharitable thought to ourselves. ELEMENT 3: MALICE Malice is used to indicate that the offender is prompted by personal ill-will or spite and speaks merely to injure the reputation of the person defamed. Malice may be in-fact or in-law. Malice in fact - must be proved by a showing of ill-will, hatred or 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 where privileged communication is involved thus:) As a general rule, malice in law is presumed from a defamatory imputation. But where privileged communication is involved, malice (in law) is NOT presumed ∴ the plaintiff must prove malice in fact. In either case, where malice in fact is present, justifiable motives cannot exist and the imputations become actionable. ELEMENT 4: IDENTIFICATION It must be shown that at least a 3rd person could identify the offended party as the object of the libelous publication. But libel published in different parts may be taken together to establish the identification of the offended party. ELEMENT 5: DISHONOR, DISCREDIT, CONTEMPT Dishonor – disgrace, shame, ignominy Discredit – loss of credit or reputation; disesteem Contempt – state of being despised There are as many offenses as there were persons defamed (PP vs. Del Rosario). When the alleged slanderous utterances were committed on the same date and at the same place, but against two different persons, the situation has given rise to two separate and individual causes for prosecution, with respect to each of the persons defamed.
Mercado vs. CFI Petitioner was charged with libel for imputing to Mrs. Virginia Mercado acts constituting enrichment thru corrupt practices. The offensive telegram which contained the allegations was addressed to the Secretary of the, Department of Public Works and Communications purportedly in line with President Marcos' appeal to the public to give information on undesirable employees in the
government service to achieve the objectives of the New Society. He filed an MTD on the ground of the telegram being privileged communication. After the same was denied, a MTQ, alleging that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, was filed but when the same again met with a denial, the present action was instituted to annul the aforesaid orders. Respondents, in their Comment, stressed there was absence of any privilege, there being malice and bad faith, petitioner having been motivated by vengeance and ill-will in making the said communication as established by his previous conduct viz a viz the private respondent: the filing of several complaints, both administrative and criminal aimed to malign her good character and reputation which were subsequently dismissed or closed for lack of merit and/or insufficiency of evidence. HELD: Petition dismissed. Qualified privilege communication may be lost by proof of malice. The prosecution should be given the opportunity of proving malice in view of petitioner's conduct towards private respondent which casts doubt on his good faith. Agbayani vs. Sayo Mahinan, manager of the Cagayan Valley Branch of the GSIS at Cauayan, Isabela, file at Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya a complaint for written defamation against 4 subordinates. The 4 accused filed a MTQ, contending that the CFI Nueva Vizcaya has no jurisdiction over the case. HELD: The proper venue of Mahinan’s criminal action against the petitioners is the CFI Isabela, since as GSIS branch manager, he was a public officer stationed at Cauayan, Isabela and that alleged libel was committed when he was in the public service. Newsweek vs. IAC An article entitled “An Island of Fear” was published in Newsweek. The author wrote that that the island province of Negros Occidental is a place dominated by big landowners who not only exploited the impoverished and underpaid sugarcane laborers, but also brutalized and killed them with impunity. The sugarcane planters instituted a class action for libel. HELD: To maintain a libel suit, a victim must be identifiable. Defamatory matter which does not reveal the identity of the person upon whom the imputation is cast affords no ground of action unless it can be shown that the readers of the libel could have identified the personality of the individual defamed. Defamatory remarks directed at a group of persons is not actionable unless the statements are all-embracing or sufficiently specific for the victim to be identifiable. Lacsa vs. IAC Lacsa and Marquez were officers of the Philippine Columbian Association. Lacsa uncovered a glitch in the qualification of Marquez to be president. He addressed a letter to Marquez in the ff. tenor: that Marquez should step down from the presidency, because the position is open only for proprietary members and Marquez has failed to show any proof of his proprietary membership, that in view of these, he has been holding the position in a de facto
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 155
capacity. This letter was published in the publication of the association. HELD: The test of libelous meanings is not the analysis of a sentence into component phrases with the meticulous care of the grammarian or stylist, but the import conveyed by the entirety of the language to the ordinary reader. The SolGen is correct in holding that the imputation of being called a de facto president is tantamount to being acknowledged as a pretender or impostor.
HELD: The public article is but a faithful reproduction of a pleading filed before a quasi-judicial body. There are no embellishments, wild imputations etc. calculated to damage the reputation of the offended parties and expose them to public contempt. No valid cause of action to institute 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) need not be proved because the law already presumes that the imputation is malicious (malice-in-law). Defamatory remarks and comments on the conduct or acts of public officers which are related to the discharge of their duties will not constitute libel if the defendant proves that truth of the imputation (thus a form of privileged communication), but any attack on the private capacities of a public officer clearly beyond the scope of his official duties may constitute libel. Even if the article falls under the cloak of privileged communications, it will not discount the fact that he wrote the same with malice, due to grudges an ill-will attendant in the circumstances surrounding the facts. Vasquez vs. CA HELD: If the defamatory statement is made against a public official with respect to the discharge of his official duties and functions and the truth of the allegation is shown, the accused will be entitled to an acquittal even though he doesn’t prove that the imputation was published with good motives and for justifiable ends. (Because, upon proof of truth, the burden of proving that the offender acted with malice would be on the public officer) Actual Malice Rule – Even if the defamatory statement is false, no liability can attach if it relates to official conduct, unless the public official concerned proves that the statement was made with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not. Navarette vs. CA
Soriano vs. IAC Soriano’s criminal liability was based on an article published in “The Guardian”, of which he is the editor. The basis of the article was a press release prepared in Tacloban and delivered to various newspapers. The intended circulation of “The Guardian” is nationwide. The libel case was docked at the RTC Letye. Soriano filed n MTQ on the basis of improper venue. He argues that the Leyte court had no jurisdiction because the publication house of “The Guardian” was located in Quezon City and that Tantuico also holds office in QC. HELD: Local jurisprudence follow the “multiple publication” rule – that each and every publication of the same libel suit constitutes a separate offense, and warrants a separate cause of action for filing a libel suit. However, the publication requirement set forth by RPC360 refers to the “publication” (the official circulating organ) and not the “press release”. In harmonizing RPC360 with the “multiple publication” rule, the “press release” is not the document to be examined. Since the official publication is produced in QC and was not proven to have been produced/copied in Leyte or elsewhere, the trial should have been handled by a QC court. Bulletin vs. Noel The article contained statements to the effect that American influence was a significant driver of the political ascendancy of the Mindalanos of Lanao. Complainants claimed this was an insulting statement that damaged the social standing of the clan. HELD: The published work alleged to contain the libelous excerpt must be examined and viewed as a whole. Titles of royalty and nobility are not generally recognized or acknowledged socially in the national community. Personal hurt or embarrassment, even if real, is not automatically equivalent to defamation. The law against defamation protects the interest of a person in acquiring, retaining, and enjoying a reputation as good as one’s character and conduct warrant in the community. It is the community standards, not personal or family standards, that a court must refer in evaluation a publication claimed to be defamatory. Santos vs. CA The article published was a verbatim copy of a complained filed by Sandejas with the SEC against the brokerage firm of Carlos Sison.
Petitioner claims that private respondent alluded to him when she said the words "stupid", "bastards", "swindlers", and "plunderers" while testifying on the Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase subject of a civil case. In her Answer, private respondent cited decisions of the Supreme Court to the effect that no action for libel or for damages may be founded on utterances made in the course of judicial proceedings. HELD: It is a settled principle in this jurisdiction that statements made in the course of judicial proceedings are absolutely privileged. This absolute privilege remains regardless of the defamatory tenor and the presence of malice if the same are relevant, pertinent or material to the cause in hand or subject of the inquiry. Thus, the person making these statements such as a judge, lawyer or witness does not thereby incur the risk of being found liable thereon in a criminal prosecution or an action for the recovery of damages.
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 156
The statements made during the course of judicial proceedings enjoy the shield of absolute privilege. The privilege is not intended so much for the protection of those engaged in the public service and in the enactment and administration of law, as for the promotion of public welfare, the purpose being that members of the legislature, judges of courts, jurors, lawyers and witnesses may speak their minds freely and exercise their respective functions without incurring the risk of a criminal prosecution or an action for damages. In determining the issue of relevancy of statements made in judicial proceedings, courts have adopted a liberal attitude by resolving all doubts in favor of relevancy. Without question, the use of blatantly defamatory language like "stupid", "bastards", "swindlers", and "plunderers" in describing the adverse parties detract from the honor and dignity that befits a court proceeding and should have been stricken out of the records. The foregoing notwithstanding, the Court finds that the terms used by the private respondent in her pleading and in her testimony cannot be the basis for an award of moral damages and attorney's fees in favor of petitioner. Jalandoni vs. Drilon Respondents here were accused of printing libelous matter in newspapers. The matter pertained to actions by Jalandoni as member of the PCGG alleged to be illegal and unauthorized (sold certain shares of a company at undervalued prices to RCBC thereby defrauding the government). Justice secretary reversed the findings of prosecutors and dismissed the complaints. HELD: Articles are not libelous. Articles merely stated insinuations on the deal between RCBC and Jalandoni as part of the PCGG. It just served to inform the public of irregularities in the transaction. In libels against public officers, to be liable, libel must relate to official conduct, even if the statement is false, unless officer proves that it was made with actual malice (with knowledge that it was false or not). Borjal vs. CA Borjal wrote a series of articles in his column about a certain “Edsa hero who is organizing conferences and seminars and soliciting money in the name of the President and DOTC secretary without the latter’s consent and authority. Wenceslao filed a case for libel saying that he felt alluded to in the articles as the organizer and that he was almost certain that it was him. HELD: No libel. In libel, it is essential that the victim be identifiable even if not actually named. It is not sufficient that the victim himself made the identification, but it is necessary that at least the victim be identifiable by a 3rd person. CAB, no sufficient identification. Victim was not named, there were many Edsa heroes and many organizers of the seminars. And even the victim was not absolutely sure that it was him being alluded to. Fortich vs. Galleron
Fortich is a salesman of San Miguel. His supervisor Galleron suspected him of misappropriating the collections he received retailers and buyers, so an investigation was conducted on the matter. Galleron submitted an interoffice memorandum containing the results of his investigation. The memo was addressed to the Regional Sales Manager and contained this paragraph: “In addition, I would like to further inform management that S/M Stanley Fortich is an avid mahjong player and a cockfighting enthusiast. In spite of several advices, there seems to be no change in his lifestyle. Also, respondent had a similar case last September 11, 1978.” HELD: The controversial paragraph is not libelous. First, the memo was part and parcel of the investigation on Fortich’s non-remittance of collections. Secondly, the memo was notcirculated or publicized, much less read by officers of the corporation other than those involved in the investigation or those directly supervising the petitioner's work. More importantly, Fortich was unable to prove that the issuance of the memo was motivated by malice. While malice is presumed in every defamatory imputation, there are certain exceptions to this rule. The memo falls under the privileged communication rule. A privileged communication is one made bona fide upon any subject matter in which the party communicating has an interest, or in reference to which he has a duty. In the case at bar, Galleron, being Fortich’s supervisor, was charged with the duty to carry out and enforce company rules and policies, including the duty to undertake initial investigation of possible irregularities in customer accounts. The memo was an official act done in good faith, an honest innocent statement arising from a moral and legal obligation which the private respondent certainly owed to the company in the performance of his duties. Salcedo-Ortanez vs. CA Rafael filed an action for annulment of his marriage to Teresita. Among the evidence presented by Rafael in the trial court were several tape recordings of telephone conversations between Teresita and unidentified persons. The recordings were obtained when Rafael allowed his friends from the military to wire tap his home telephone. HELD: Rep. Act No. 4200 entitled "An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and Other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other purposes" expressly makes such tape recordings inadmissible in evidence. Absent a clear showing that both parties to the telephone conversations allowed to recording of the same, the inadmissibility of the subject tapes is mandatory under Rep. Act No. 4200. People v. Ogie Diaz (2007) The last element of libel is that the victim is identified or identifiable from the contents of the libelous article. In order to maintain a libel suit, it is essential that the victim be identifiable, although it is not necessary that the person be named. It is enough if by intrinsic reference the allusion is apparent or if the publication contains matters of description or reference to facts and circumstances from which others reading the article may know the person alluded to, or if the latter is pointed out by extraneous
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 157
circumstances so that those knowing such person could and did understand that he was the person referred to. Kunkle v. Cablenews-American and Lyons laid the rule that this requirement is complied with where a third person recognized or could identify the party vilified in the article.
- usually limited to legislative and judicial proceedings and other acts of state (2) Conditional or qualified - not actionable UNLESS made with malice or bad faith - this class includes those communications mentioned as exceptions in Art. 354 RE: Par. 1 (Private communication made by any person to another…) Illustration: X files a complaint in good faith against a priest to his ecclesiastical superior allegedly for taking indecent liberties of women → private communication in the performance of a moral duty ∴ privileged! Unnecessary publicity destroys good faith. So for example, if a copy of the complaint above is sent to a newspaper for publication, the privilege is destroyed. That the statement is a privileged communication is a matter of defense and, like all other matters of defense, must be established by the accused. Tapos, if the accused sets up privileged communication as a defense, to overcome it, the prosecutions must prove that (1) the defendant acted with malice in fact (because the privileged only negates the presumption of malice in law), or (2) there is no reasonable ground for believing the charge to be true. Illustration of “no reasonable ground for believing the charge to be true”: X admitted that he had personally made no investigation with reference to the truth of many of the statements made in the communication to the Secretary of Justice, especially with reference to the statements based on rumors that a judge received a bribe for dismissing a murder case. RE: Par. 2 (Fair and true report of official proceedings…) Defamatory remarks and comments on the conduct or acts of public officers which are related to the discharge of their official duties will not constitute libel if the defendant proves the truth of the imputation. The conduct of public officers which are related to the discharge of their official duties are matters of public interest, and it is a defense to an action for libel or slander that the words complained of are a fair comment on a matter of public interest.
Article 354. Requirement for Publicity Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justiable motice for making it is shown, except in the following cases: 1. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral, or social duty; 2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative, or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions. The two exceptions in Art. 354 are the socalled privileged communications. When privileged communication is involved, malice in fact must be proved to convict the accused. Illustration of Art. 354: A tells C that B is a thief. The fact is B is really is a thief, because he was previously convicted of theft. Can it be presumed that the imputation by B is malicious? Yes, because Art. 354 says that “every defeamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious even if it be true.” But the presumption of malice is rebutted if A can show (1) good intention and (2) justifiable motive for making the imputation. Thus, if B is applying for a position of security guard in the store of C, brother of A, and the purpose of A is to protect his brother from undesirable employees, then malice cannot be presumed. Two kinds of privileged communication: (1) Absolute - not actionable, EVEN IF its author acted in bad faith - this class includes statements made by members of Congress in the discharge of their functions as such, allegations in pleadings made by parties or their counsel, answers given by witnesses in reply to questions propounded to them (provided the answers are responsive and the allegations are relevant)
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 158
What is a fair comment? If the comment is an expression of an opinion, based upon proven facts, then it is no matter that the opinion happens to be mistaken so long as it might be reasonably inferred from the facts. Comment may be fair, although wrong. But any attack upon the private character of the public officer on matters which are not related to the discharge of their official functions, may constitute libel. No one has the right to invade another’s privacy. Rule on self-defense – A person libeled is justified to hit back with another libel. But the defamatory statements made by the accused must be a fair answer to the libel made by the offended party and must be related to the imputation made. The answer should not be unnecessarily libelous. Illustration: A to B, C & D: “You pimp, women of ill repute, thieves, paramours of my husband”. B to A: “You are a woman of the street, you smell bad, and your money was stolen from the PCAU” + C to A “You are shameless, blackmailer, murderer” + D to A “You have a thick face, you are not legally married, you are the paramour of Father Baluyut.” Held: To repel attack, the defendant may make an explanation of the imputation, and it is only where, if by explaining, he must of necessity have to use scurrilous and slanderous remarks, that he may legally be allowed to do so without placing himself under criminal prosecution. Here, B, C, D’s remarks were unnecessarily scurrilous. Article 355. Libel by Means of Writings or Similar Means A libel may be committed by means of 1. Writing; 2. Printing; 3. Lithography; 4. Engraving; 5. Radio; 6. Photograph; 7. Painting; 8. Theatrical exhibition; 9. Cinematographic exhibition; or 10. Any similar means. Defamation through amplifier is not libel, but oral defamation. The word ‘radio’ should be considered in relation to the terms with which it is associated – all of which have a common characteristic, namely, their permanent nature as a means of publication.
But defamation made in a TV program is libel. It easily qualifies under the general provision “or any similar means”.
Magno v. People (2006) Sending an unsealed libelous letter to the offended party constitutes publication. Buatis v. People (2006) Facts: One lawyer sent another an insulting letter, in closing saying, “Yours in Satan’s name”. Held: There is publication in this case. In libel, publication means making the defamatory matter, after it is written, known to someone other than the person against whom it has been written. Petitioner’s subject letter-reply itself states that the same was copy furnished to all concerned. Also, petitioner had dictated the letter to his secretary. It is enough that the author of the libel complained of has communicated it to a third person. Furthermore, the letter, when found in the mailbox, was open, not contained in an envelope thus, open to public. While Vaca case is for violation of B.P. 22, we find the reasons behind the imposition of fine instead of imprisonment applicable to petitioner’s case of libel. We note that this is petitioner’s first offense of this nature. He never knew respondent prior to the demand letter sent by the latter to Mrs. Quingco who then sought his assistance thereto. He appealed from the decision of the RTC and the CA in his belief that he was merely exercising a civil or moral duty in writing the letter to private complainant. In fact, petitioner could have applied for probation to evade prison term but he did not do so believing that he did not commit a crime thus, he appealed his case. We believe that the State is concerned not only in the imperative necessity of protecting the social organization against the criminal acts of destructive individuals but also in redeeming the individual for economic usefulness and other social ends. Consequently, we delete the prison sentence imposed on petitioner and instead impose a fine of six thousand pesos. This is not the first time that we removed the penalty of imprisonment and imposed a fine instead in the crime of libel. In Sazon v. Court of Appeals, petitioner was convicted of libel and was meted a penalty of imprisonment and fine; and upon a petition filed with us, we affirmed the findings of libel but changed the penalty imposed to a mere fine.
Article 356. Threatening to Publish and Offer to Prevent Such Publication for A Compensation Acts punished 1.Threatening another to publish a libel concerning him, or his parents, spouse, child, or other members of his family;
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 159
2. Offering to prevent the publication of such libel for compensation or money consideration. Blackmail - In its metaphorical sense, blackmail may be defined as any unlawful extortion of money by threats of accusation or exposure. Two words are expressive of the crime - hush money. In what felonies is blackmail possible? Blackmail is possible in (1) light threats under Article 283; and (2) threatening to publish, or offering to prevent the publication of, a libel for compensation, under Article 356. Article 357. Prohibited Publication of Acts Referred to in the Course of Official Proceedings Elements 1. Offender is a reporter, editor or manager of a newspaper, daily or magazine; 2. He publishes facts connected with the private life of another; 3. Such facts are offensive to the honor, virtue and reputation of said person. The provisions of Art. 357 constitute the socalled “Gag Law”. Newspaper reports on cases pertaining to adultery, divorce, issues about the legitimacy of children etc., will necessarily be barred from publication. The prohibition applies even though said publication be made in connection with or under the pretext that it is necessary in the narration of any judicial or administrative proceedings wherein such facts have been mentioned. Illustration: A uttered defamatory remarks calling a priest a savage and that he had a concubine. While the case was pending trial, a newspaper published the complaint verbatim including the defamatory expressions of A. RA1477 – The publisher, editor, columnist or reporter of any periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher etc. unless the court or a House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the security of the State, without prejudice to the publisher’s etc. liability under civil and criminal laws. Article 358. Slander
Slander is oral defamation. There are tow kinds of oral defamation: (1) Simple slander; and (2) Grave slander, when it is of a serious and insulting nature. Factors that determine the gravity of oral defamation: 1. expressions used 2. personal relations of the accused and the offended party 3. circumstances surrounding the case Illustration of grave slander: “You sold the union. You swindled the money of the members and received bribe money in the amount of P10K…” Illustration of simple slander: An accusation that the offended party has been living successively and with several men uttered before several persons, when intended to correct an improper conduct of the offended party, a kin of the accused, is only simple slander. The slander need not be heard by the offended party, because a man’s reputation is the estimate in which other hold him, not the good opinion which he has of himself.
People vs. Pelayo Pelayo told Clapano (councilor), within the hearing of three people, that in one of his investigations on illegal gambling, an operator, Lim Peng, told him Almendras (governor) received P500 from said operator as protection money. The following day, Pelayo delivered a privileged speech in the City Council’s session where it could be inferred that he was referring to Almendras as a “tong collector”. HELD: Facts of the case do NOT constitute intriguing against honor where the source of the derogatory information cannot be determined and defendant borrows the same without subscribing to the truth thereof, passes it to others. The information allegedly came from a definite source (Lim Peng) which he adopted as his, passed it to another for the purpose of causing dishonor to the other’s reputation. The act is slander (light oral defamation). Victorio vs. CA Father and son Victorio were overheard by people to have uttered defamatory words against Atty. Ruiz after a hearing where Atty. Ruiz moved for contempt of the counsel of Victorio. They were found guilty of Grave Oral Defamation. HELD: Oral defamation or slander has been defined as the speaking of base and defamatory words which tend to prejudice another in his reputation, office, trade, business or means of livelihood. The special circumstances of the case, antecedents or relationship between offended and offender, which might tend to prove intention of offender at the time, aside from the sense and grammatical meaning
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 160
of the defamatory words are considered as guidelines in determining whether the offense is serious or slight. Attributing to a prominent lawyer a crime (estafa) is a serious and insulting imputation that strikes deep into the character of the victim. No special circumstance need be shown for defamatory words to be considered grave oral defamation. That defamatory words were uttered in the heat of anger cannot lie where there was no reason or lawful cause to be angry against Ruiz who was merely performing his duties aw a lawyer in defense of client, and no provocation. People vs. Orcullo Judge Orcullo dismissed the case for oral defamation against Peralta (she imputed adultery and prostitution against Flores) on the ground that it was a private crime to be instituted by the offended party. SC reinstated case for trial. HELD: The words said by Peralta are indubitably imputation of the crime of prostitution, which can be prosecuted de oficio and not adultery. Connotation of hostess is notoriously referred to prostitutes. Only when derogatory remarks clearly and categorically reflect the elements constituting adultery would the complainant for libel by the offended party be necessary to commence prosecution Villanueva v. People (2006) The Court does not condone the vilification or use of scurrilous language on the part of petitioner, but following the rule that all possible circumstances favorable to the accused must be taken in his favor, it is our considered view that the slander committed by petitioner can be characterized as slight slander following the doctrine that uttering defamatory words in the heat of anger, with some provocation on the part of the offended party, constitutes only a light felony. Figeroa v. People (2006) While it is true that a publication's libelous nature depends on its scope, spirit and motive taken in their entirety, the article in question as a whole explicitly makes mention of private complainant Rivera all throughout. It cannot be said that the article was a mere general commentary on the alleged existing state of affairs at the aforementioned public market because Rivera was not only specifically pointed out several times therein but was even tagged with derogatory names. Indubitably, this name-calling was, as correctly found by the two courts below, directed at the very person of Rivera himself.
Slander by deed refers to performance of an act, not use of words. Two kinds of slander by deed 1. Simple slander by deed; and 2. Grave slander by deed, that is, which is of a serious nature. What is slander by deed? It is a crime against honor which is committed by performing an act which casts dishonor, discredit, or contempt upon another person. Illustrations: slapping the face of another if the intention is to cause shame and humiliation, fighting another with intention to humiliate him vs. Acts of lasciviousness Kissing a girl in public and touching her breasts without lewd designs, committed by a rejected suitor to cast dishonor on the girl is slander by deed NOT acts of lasciviousness. vs. Maltreatment The nature and effects of the maltreatment determine the crime committed. If the offended party suffered from shame or humiliation caused by the maltreatment, it is slander by deed.
Unjust vexation Slander by Acts of deed lasciviousness Irritation or annoyance + With publicity + presence of and dishonor or the contempt circumstances provided for in RPC 335 on rape (force or intimidation, unconscious etc.) together with lewd designs
People vs. Motita Motita used a mirror to view reflection of private parts of Letada. Crowd nearby were laughing with their eyes directed towards her. HELD: Crime committed was slander by deed.
Article 359. Slander by Deed Elements 1. Offender performs any act not included in any other crime against honor; 2. Such act is performed in the presence of other person or persons; 3. Such act casts dishonor, discredit or contempt upon the offended party.
Unjust vexation is committed when the offender’s act caused annoyance, irritation, vexation, torment, distress or disturbance to the mind of the person to whom it is directed. If there was attendant publicity and dishonor or contempt in addition to the irrigation or annoyance, offense would be slander by deed as in this case. If any of the circumstances provided for rape together with lewd designs were present in addition to the annoyance, the offense would be act of lasciviousness.
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 161
Article 360. Persons responsible The persons responsible for libel are:
There is no remedy for damages for slander or libel in case of absolutely privileged communication. Article 361. Proof of the truth In every criminal prosecution for libel, the truth may be given in evidence to the court and if it appears that the matter charged as libelous is true, and, moreover, that it was published with good motives and for justifiable ends, the defendant shall be acquitted. Proof of the truth of an imputation of an act or omission not constituting a crime shall not be admitted, unless the imputation shall have been made against the Government employees with respect to facts related to the discharge of their duties. In such cases, if the defendant proves the truth of the imputation made by him, he shall be acquitted. Proof of truth is admissible in any of the following:
The person who publishes, exhibits or causes the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or similar means; The author or editor of a book or pamphlet; The editor or business manager of a daily newspaper magazine or serial publication; The owner of a printing plant which publishes a libelous article with his consent and all other persons who in any way participate in or have connection with its publication.
Venue of criminal and civil actions for damages in cases of written defamations (In case one of the offended parties is a private individual) 1. 2. Where the libelous article is printed and first published; or Where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense.
Where one of the offended parties is a public officer, the action shall be filed in the CFI (1) of the province or city where he held office at the time of the commission of the offense OR (2) where the libelous article is printed and first published. The civil action shall be filed in the same cdourt where the criminal action is filed and vice versa. The court where the criminal action or civil action for damages is 1st filed shall acquire jurisdiction to the exclusion of other courts. If the defamation consists in the imputation of a crime which cannot be prosecuted de oficio (adultery, concubinage, seduction, abduction and acts of lasciviousness), then the offended party must a complaint. RE: DAMAGES recoverable Actual damages need not be proved, at least (1) where the publication is libelous per se or (2) when the amount of the award is more or less nominal, because libel, by its nature, causes injury to the reputation of the offended party.
When the act or omission imputed constitutes a crime regardless of whether the offended party is a private individual or a public officer; When the offended party is a Government employee, even if the act or omission imputed doesn’t constitute a crime, provided, it is related to the discharge of his official duties.
Illustration: A said that B, a gov’t official, was in the habit of drinking during office hours and that he was always in a boisterous condition. Is proof of truth allowed in case B should file a complaint against A for defamation? Yes. Both public interest and the good of the service demand that a drunkard be barred from the service. But when the imputation involves the private life of B which is not related to the discharge of his official duties, the offender cannot prove the truth thereof. Another illustration: A made several imputations against C, a private individual, some of which insinuated the commission of crimes and some did not. Is proof of truth allowed? It depends. The defendant will be allowed to prove the truth of the imputations constituting crimes but he will not be allowed to prove the truth of the imputations not constituting crimes.
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 162
DEFENSE in defamation, requisities: 1. Truth 2. Matter was published with motives 3. For justifiable ends
himself of written or spoken words in besmirching the victim’s reputation Not required
spoken, are availed of
Retraction may mitigate damages. But in order to have the desired effect, the retraction should contain an admission of the falsity of the libelous publication and evince a strong desire to repair the wrong occasioned thereby. Article 362. Libelous remarks Libelous remarks or comments connected with the matter privileged under the provisions of Article 354, if made with malice, shall not exempt the author thereof nor the editor or managing editor of a newspaper from criminal liability. Thus, the author of a publication who distorts or discolors official proceedings reported by him, or adds comments thereon to cast aspersion on the character of the parties concerned, is guilty of libel, notwithstanding that the defamatory matter is published in connection with a privileged matter. Article 363. Persons Incriminating Innocent
Imputation must be public and malicious & must be calculated to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt of the aggrieved party
People vs. Alagao Is there a complex crime of incriminating an innocent person through unlawful arrest? HELD: Yes. The two acts imputed to the accused closely followed each other, the unlawful arrest being a necessary means to plant the incriminatory evidence. Under the circumstances of the case, the accused had to arrest M because it was the only way that they could with facility detain him, search his person or effects and, commingle therewith the marked peso bill. A complex crime was committed. Huggland vs. Lantin Judge Lantin was arrested for bribery for allegedly having received marked money amounting to P5,000 from one Magdalena Huggland who was implicated in a criminal case. The P5,000 was allegedly part of the P25,000 being asked by Judge Lantin for the cancellation of the hold departure order issued against Ms. Huggland. The issue is whether this is case of entrapment or planting of evidence. HELD: This is a case of entrapment. Let us distinguish entrapment from planting of evidence. In entrapment, the criminal intent or design to commit the offense charged originates in the mind of the accused and the law enforcement officials merely facilitate the commission of the offense, the accused cannot justify his conduct. Planting of evidence or incriminating innocent person is committed by performing an act by which the offender directly incriminates or imputes to an innocent person the commission of a crime. From the testimonial and documentary evidence submitted by the parties, there is reason to believe that indeed, this is a case of entrapment not planting of evidence. The conclusion is based on the following: (1) The subpoena was illegally issued; (2) The Motion to Quash Hold Departure Order and the Order of Cancellation of the Hold Departure Order were prepared and typewritten by the respondent; and (3) The Money used in the entrapment operation was recovered from one of the left drawers of the respondent's table.
Elements 1. Offender performs an act; 2. By such an act, he incriminates or imputes to an innocent person the commission of a crime; 3. Such act does not constitute perjury. This article is limited to “planting” evidence and the like, which do not in themselves constitute false prosecutions but tend directly to cause false prosecution.
Incriminating an innocent person Committed by performing an act by which the offender directly incriminates another Limited to the act of planting evidence Perjury by making false accusation The gravamen is the imputation itself, falsely made before an officer Giving of false statement under oath or making a false affidavit, imputing to another the commission of a crime Defamation Words, written or
Article 364. Intriguing against Honor This crime is committed by any person who shall make any intrigue which has for its principal purpose to blemish the honor or reputation of another person.
Incriminatory machinations Offender doesn’t avail
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 163
Incriminating an innocent person Offender performs an act by which he directly incriminates or imputes to an innocent person the commission of a crime Defamation Done by availing directly of spoken words ex., gossiping Slander The source of the info can be pinpointed and the defendant, adopting as his own the information he has obtained, passes the same to another for the purpose of causing dishonor to complainant’s reputation
Intriguing against Honor Offender resorts to an intrigue for the purpose of blemishing the honor or reputation of another person
for any person who willfully or knowingly does or who shall aid, permit, or cause to be done any of the acts declared to be unlawful or who violates the provisions of the following section or of any order issued thereunder, or aids, permits, or causes such violation.
It is not unlawful: Intriguing against Honor Committed by means which consists of some tricky and secret plot Intriguing against Honor The source or the author of the derogatory info cannot be determined and the defendant borrows the same, and without subscribing to the truth thereof, passes it to others
REPUBLIC ACT No. 4200 AN ACT TO PROHIBIT AND PENALIZE WIRE TAPPING AND OTHER RELATED VIOLATIONS OF THE PRIVACY OF COMMUNICATION, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES It shall be unlawful:
for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication or spoken word by using a device commonly known as a dictaphone or dictagraph or dictaphone or walkie-talkie or tape recorder, or however otherwise described; for any person, be he a participant or not in the act or acts penalized in the next preceding sentence, (1) to knowingly possess any tape record, wire record, disc record, or any other such record, or copies thereof, of any communication or spoken word secured either before or after the effective date of this Act in the manner prohibited by this law; or (2) to replay the same for any other person or persons; or (3) to communicate the contents thereof, either verbally or in writing, or (4) to furnish transcriptions thereof, whether complete or partial, to any other person. Provided, That the use of such record or any copies thereof as evidence in any civil, criminal investigation or trial of offenses, shall not be covered by this prohibition;
for any peace officer, who is authorized by a written order of the Court, to execute any of the acts declared to be unlawful in cases involving the crimes of treason, espionage, provoking war and disloyalty in case of war, piracy, mutiny in the high seas, rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, inciting to sedition, kidnapping as defined by the Revised Penal Code, and violations of Commonwealth Act No. 616, punishing espionage and other offenses against national security: Provided, That such written order shall only be issued or granted upon written application and the examination under oath or affirmation of the applicant and the witnesses he may produce and a showing: (1) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that any of the crimes enumerated hereinabove has been committed or is being committed or is about to be committed: Provided, however, That in cases involving the offenses of rebellion, conspiracy and proposal to commit rebellion, inciting to rebellion, sedition, conspiracy to commit sedition, and inciting to sedition, such authority shall be granted only upon prior proof that a rebellion or acts of sedition, as the case may be, have actually been or are being committed; (2) that there are reasonable grounds to believe that evidence will be obtained essential to the conviction of any person for, or to the solution of, or to the prevention of, any of such crimes; and (3) that there are no other means readily available for obtaining such evidence.
Effect of violation of the law: Any communication or spoken word, or the existence, contents, substance, purport, effect, or meaning of the same or any part thereof, or any information therein contained obtained or secured by any person in violation of this Act shall not be admissible in evidence in any judicial, quasi-judicial, legislative or administrative hearing or investigation.
Gaanan vs. IAC Atty. Pinto filed a complaint for direct assault against Atty. Laconico. Pintor, through phone, offered to withdraw the complaint for consideration. Atty. Gaanan was able to overhear this conversation through a telephone extension. Pinto was arrested for extortion. But Gaanan and Laconico
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 164
were charged with violation of RA4200 and found guilty by the lower court. HELD: The phrase “any other device or arrangement” in the Ant-Wiretapping Law doesn’t cover an extension line. The law refers to a tap of a wire or cable or the use of a device or arrangement for the purpose of secretly overhearing, intercepting or recording the communication. There must be the physical interruption through a wiretap or the deliberate installation of a device or arrangement in order to overhear, intercept or record the spoken words. The extension here was not installed for the purpose but for ordinary office use. Also, an extension phone is an instrument which is very common, not what the law refers to in which the presence of such devices cannot be presumed by the party being overheard. Ramirez vs. CA Ramirez field a civil case for damages against Garcia. IN support of her claim, she produced a verbatim transcript of the confrontation with Garcia where the latter allegedly vexed, insulted and humiliated her. The transcription on which the civil case was based was culled from a tape recording of the confrontation made by petitioner. As a result of the recording, Garcia filed a criminal case against Ramirez for violation of RA 4200. HELD: The law makes no distinction as to whether the party sought to be penalized by the statute ought to be a party other than or different from those involved in the private communication. The statute’s intent to penalize all persons unauthorized to make such recording is underscored by the use of the qualifier “any”. Consequently, as respondent CA correctly concluded, even a person privy to a communication who records his private conversation with another without the knowledge of the latter (will) qualify as a violator under the provisions of RA4200. The lawmakers contemplated to make illegal unauthorized taped recording of private conversation or communication taken by either of the parties themselves of by third persons. The nature of the conversation is immaterial for conviction of the crime and communication as used includes conversation.
C2005 Criminal Law 2 Reviewer 165
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.