April 17, 2024

Bicol Express News

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Sorsogon media man sued for libel under RA 10175, violation of cybercrime law

Rufino Edwin Ayo Lacsa known as Red Lacsa. Photo from FB

By Bicol Express News Reportorial Staff

Former reporter of BicolTV Sorsogon was criminally charged for violation of Cybercrime Prevention Act 0f 2021, RA 10175.

The respondent is Rufino Edwin Ayo Lacsa known as Red Lacsa in the media community of Sorsogon.

Another respondent is Merlyn Arcega Nocedo also known as Marie A. Hernadez.

The complaint filed by Castilla town Mayor Isagani Mendoza was given merit by Prosecutor Carmelle Nicolas Nicolas of Sorsogon Prosecution Office, and a bail for ten thousand pesos (P10,000) was recommended for the respondents’ provisional liberty in a Resolution dated December 31, 2021.

The case stemmed from Lacsa’s Facebook (FB) post, allegedly insinuating that the election in the town is already over because of the Manifesto signed by the majority of the town barangay chairmen in exchange of the amount of Php 200,000.00 for each of them, coinciding after the bidding of the water system project in the municipality.

The Resolution said that the Lacsa FB post gave impression that the promised money was utilized for the purpose of bribery and corruption to facilitate the signing of the Manifesto, allegedly sourcing the money from the fund allotted for the water system project.

Nocedo, on the other hand, allegedly commented maliciously about the FB post, stating that he (Mendoza) is a shameless politician and alleged that he has no source of money except for the water project amounting to one million.

The complainant, Mendoza, alleged that such post accused him of bribery and corruption, casting dishonor and discredit him as a public official.

The failure of respondents to submit their counter – affidavits, had caused the issuance of Resolution to prevent further delay.

In R.A, 10175, acts constituting an offense as cybercrime is the unlawful or prohibited acts of libel defined under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code committed through a computer system. For the imputation to be libelous it must be defamatory, malicious, given publicity, and the victim is identifiable.

This applied to the Facebook post of respondent Lacsa, as careful perusal of his post by the Prosecutor noted that the insinuation, the question addressed to the public and the indirect manner which the article was made, did not lessen the malice, but instead makes the defamatory imputation more effective.

It alleged that defendant acted with malice and intent to malign the reputation of the complainant, and has gone beyond his duty as a journalist.

Nocedo as respondent, the Prosecutor finds sufficient evidence that libel has been committed by way of her comment to the posted article of Lacsa, calling allegedly the complainant “shameless” and accused him allegedly of sourcing the promised money to the barangay chairmen from no other, but the fund intended for the water system project which is defamatory, reeking with malice and not merely to express her opinion but with the clear intention to malign the complainant and benefit a favored person.

The two respondents were charged for libel.

Bicol Express News reach out to respondent Lacsa, but he refused to comment on the complaint against him before this news posting.

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