First Posted 01:25 PM 10/13/2008
Last Updated 10:38 AM 10/16/2008
BILIRAN, Philippines — Two of the three hosts of the radio program “Ang Timbangan sa Katilingban” aired regularly over Radio Natin-Naval at 11:00am -12:00 noon every Monday, Wednesday and Friday namely Jerome Arcenal and Jorge Mangco were put to jail today, October 13, 2008 for Indirect Contempt of Court.
Timbangan hosts. Jerome Arcenal and (left) Jorge Mangco behind bars. Photo taken this morning at the Naval Police Station. 10/13/2008
Jerry Tibon, who was one of the regular hosts of the radio program and an incumbent barangay councilor of Brgy. Sto, Nino, Naval Biliran was acquitted for not having uttered statement that would tend to obstruct, degrade the administration of justice. Mangco was also an incumbent barangay councilor of Barangay Calumpang, Naval Biliran
Based on Sec. 3, paragraphs (c) and (d) of Rule 71, Revised Rules of Court the penalty of indirect contempt, if the contempt is committed against a Regional Trial Court is Thirty Thousand Pesos (P30,000.00) fine or an imprisonment of not exceeding six (6) months or both.
The two hosts were sentenced by the Court the penalty of Ten Thousand (P10, 000.00) Pesos and ten (10) days imprisonment.
The two hosts are put behind bars at 11:45 am in the Naval Police Station, Naval, Biliran.
Based on the sentence ordered by Judge Rogelio R. Joboco, Acting Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Eight Judicial Region, Branch 16 in Naval, Biliran on September 25, 2008 that was read today before the respondents, the case originated when in their radio program on September 12, 2008 one of their subject matters was the case of the Petition for Bail of SPO2 Renato Saul.
In that radio program, they questioned the procedure of the Court of the dismissal of the petition for bail in a derisive and derogatory manner, when they believe that there was a setting of the hearing of the petition for bail on September 26, 2008, the Court stated.
Timbangero Jerry Tibon during the interview of BiliranIsland.com
The Court said that what the respondents did not know was that when Atty. Villordon, representing the oppositor’s the Heirs of Alberto Parilla question the jurisdiction of the Court, to hear the petition for bail of SPO2 Renato Saul, the Court ordered Atty. Villordon to submit a position paper to convince the court why it has no jurisdiction.
It added that Atty. Villordon submitted his position paper on September 15, 2008 on the issue of the case, that since there was no information yet filed in court against Renato Saul, his case fits squarely to the cited jurisprudence of Borinaga vs Tamin 226 SCRA 206 and the applicable rule in sec. 17(b) of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court which states that RTC judge has no jurisdiction to hear the petition for bail as the case against the accused were still pending preliminary investigation, and no information has been filed for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the case.
It further states that the Court also had studied the rulings of the Supreme Court and was already convince in his study that the petition for bail of Renato Saul cannot be treated, as the charge against him was a non-bailable offense, as the same was covered by Sec. 17 (b) of Rule 114 of the Rules of Court.
The respondents were even asked by the Court with two questions relative to their statement on radio; 1) why did they air thru the radio of what the procedure with derision should have been followed and why they did not ascertain the condition in the order that if the Court believes of non-jurisdiction, it will dismiss the petition.
However, the Court noted that they mislead the public, radio listener and further asked each other “where in the world can you find a judge arguing the petitioner’s counsels.”It added that they were trying to project of the court’s bias.
It was also stated in the decision that Arcenal and Mangco admitted in court to have committed the charge against them and asked for forgiveness where the Court told them that their admission of guilt and clamor for forgiveness will be noted due with consideration.
The officers of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP)-Biliran was likewise asked by the Court of their recommendation based on their assessment , however, they were in unison for the recommendation of the penalty provided by law but mitigated because of their admission.
The officers of IBP-Biliran were present during the first hearing of the case on September 23, 2008 and were appointed by the Court to explain to the respondents the proceedings and the show cause order since the respondents appeared without counsel.
The Court also observed that the IBP-Biliran thru their officers appeared as they were alarmed why these radio personalities can, with ease, deride and malign the judge and the Court (RTC, Branch 16), the decision states.
The respondents reason out that due to financial and time constraints, they were not able to hire a counsel.
Allegedly, many radio listeners of DYRN Naval including political observers in Biliran province believe that the hosts of ‘Timbangan’ were paid “attack dogs” of the Espina family to malign the reputation of Congressman Glenn Chong.