First Posted 10:45:00 AM 08/08/2008
Naval, Biliran — After being charged with double murder, frustrated murder, attempted murder cases and grave threats at the office of the regional state prosecutor in Tacloban City, Gerardo S. Espina, Sr., will now face another legal battle, this time for libel and perjury.
Under article 353 of the revised penal code “A libel is a public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, of any act, omission, condition, status or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.”
A libel case was filed against Gerardo s. espina, Sr., on July 30, 2008 at the office of the provincial prosecutor in Biliran province by a certain Romeo Arribe.
Romeo Arribe is a brother-in-law of Mr. Charlie Chong.
In Arribe’s complaint affidavit, he stated that sometime on July 22, 2008 at around 12:45 o’clock in the afternoon more or less, Gerardo S. Espina, Sr., in his radio broadcast, Pag-usapan natin announced that he was commissioned by Mr. Charles Chong, to go to Leyte-Leyte to contact Norbing, a notorious criminal for the purpose of killing Gerardo Espina, Sr. and Governor Rogelio Espina.
“This statement is libelous because it is imputing a crime, defect or vice against my person which I am innocent、”Arribe said in his affidavit.
He added in his affidavit that he don’t know who is this Norbing and that Gerardo Espina、 Sr. does not even know him personally and why accused him of such intended crime to be committed to kill him.
At least eight persons who have heard the libelous statement of Gerardo S. Espina, Sr. on radio on July 22, 2008 have executed their respective affidavit as supporting affidavits attached to Arribe’s complaint affidavit.
Meanwhile, the following day (July 31, 2008) after Romeo Arribe lodged his libel case at the prosecutor’s office in Biliran, a perjury case was then filed by Charles Chong.
The perjury case filed by Charles Chong was based on the statement made by Gerardo S. Espina, Sr. in paragraph 4 in his affidavit complaint and counter affidavit dated July 14, 2008 which states “We were all listening to Bantay Radio which was interviewing Mr. Charlie Chong who practically accused me and my family as being behind the shooting. Mr. chong even said that because of what happened he will run in 2010 for governor.”
Charlie Chong stated in his complaint affidavit that Gerardo S. Espina, Sr. cannot prove the truthfulness of his allegations because he was not interviewed by Bantay Radio in Cebu after the incident on June 7, 2008 nor that he accused the Espina family for the shooting and neither did he say that he is going to run for governor because of the situation.
“This is perjurious because this statement are contained in his affidavit duly subscribed and sworn to before a person of competent authority to administer an oath, thus the elements of perjury is fully satisfied” Chong said in his complaint affidavit.
Under article 183 of the revised penal code, the penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prison correctional in its minimum period shall be imposed upon any person who, knowingly making untruthful statements, shall testify under oath, or make an affidavit, upon any material matter before a competent person authorized to administer an oath in cases in which the law so requires. -BiliranIsland.com