By Felix ‘Boy’ Espineda, Jr.
SORSOGON CITY, 13Dec2016 (BicolToday.com) – Controversial propagandist Redentor Lasay was found to have transgressed the boundary of press freedom and freedom of speech saying in his defense that his vulgarity, uncalled for remarks are without malice and fair criticism against Casiguran Mayor Edwin Hamor who was then running for election. His arguments were flatly rejected and were found to be defamatory and with malice by Prosecutor Ma. Eden Louella Destura –Jintalan slapping Lasay two counts of libel and Salvador “Hot’ Duka, Alias “Ching” and the station manager of Radyo Natin Sorsogon with one count each.
Two complaints about libel were lodged against Lasay by the mayor. He was charged with one count in V-13-INV-161-4747 together with Salvador/Bernard ‘Hot’ Duka and commentator alias “Ching”. He was also charged with another libel together with the station manager of Radyo Natin Sorsogon in V-13-INV-161-4746.
Hamor filed the complaints because of the scurrilous remarks over Radyo Natin FM Sorsogon during the “In the Red Corner” which Lasay was hosting on March 22, 2016 and later in the afternoon of the same date with co-respondent Salvador/Bernard ‘Hot’ Duka and alias “Ching” over Padaba FM. In the afternoon program Lasay and co-anchors continued lambasting the mayor but this time his wife Ester was included.
Lasay and the co-accused took notice of the Pasalingaya activities hosted by Hamor at the Balogo Sports Complex which they were not in attendance. They relied upon their criticism from hearsay and using the events of that activity as their centerpiece in criticizing the mayor calling him vulgar, grabber of contract by name dropping, talking of masturbation, lasciviousness, craziness, promoting profanity and calling him the idiot and a shame to Sorsogon.
He called Hamor as a mere driver of Ester and questioned the use of his surname by Ester by saying “Why are you married?”Hamor presented their marriage certificate to the prosecutor.
In the afternoon hosting, Lasay even mimic Ester saying during the airing of the program“ eh, but that is the way it is. He always humiliates me (referring to Hamor). I am already so ashamed but he always humiliates me”.
“What I know is that these are brothers: a liar, a robber, murderer, and a vulgar. They say they are brothers. Duka retorted “taken all together, what do you get?” Lasay replied “B-O-B-O-Y” referring to the popular name of Mayor Hamor.
The prosecutor said that all the elements of the offense of libel are present saying that “it is hard to believe that respondents are acting in good faith when they made the slanderous utterances” neither those utterances can be treated as the fair comment. The reckless broadcasting of unverified reports showed malice on the respondents. She added that the supposed concern to the society appears to be feigned as the disparaging imputations went beyond what happened during the Pasalingaya event hosted by Hamor.
It added that the broadcast was geared towards tarnishing the personal life of the complainant using the event in order to attack the character of the complainant and to hide under the protection of the freedom of speech. The mockery and ridicule of the complainant are not what is envisioned to be protected in the said right.
It was said based on the recorded transcript made during the airing of the program that respondent name was mentioned several times which was considered indicative of the malicious intention to personally spite the complainant.
The respondent was lectured “as media men, they ought to be circumspect in delivering news and information lest they might poison and misled the minds of their listeners which respondent Lasay and his co-accused ignored which was indicative of their malice because they knew for a fact would injure the reputation of Hamor. Their mockery and ridicule made by respondents have hardly any connection to their supposed concern for the society was part of the prosecutor’s resolution.
The management of Radyo Natin who allowed the airing of the libelous statements of Lasay in his program shows adherence to the commission of libel. Padaba FM has a disclaimer of the views and opinions of their commentators played before the start of the program while Radyo Natin has nothing to detach itself from the liability which was a clearly a failure to carry out its legal obligation to prevent the transgression which resulted in the commission of libel.
A preliminary investigation is to be scheduled against the accused. [BicolToday.com]