QC Prosecutor's Office dismisses Annabelle Rama's "grave oral defamation" case against Wilma Galvante

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"While it is true that respondent had no right to interfere with the contract between the complainant and her talent, respondent has every right to protect the interest of the network she represents, being the Vice President of the Entertainment Division of GMA. She cannot be prevented from reminding contracted talents and managers of the possible consequences of any failure to comply with the Management contract," writes Assistant City Prosecutor Ronald Torralba


Ibinasura ng Office of the Quezon City Prosecutor ang kasong Grave Oral Defamation o grave slander na isinampa ng talent manager na si Annabelle Rama laban sa GMA-7 SVP for Entertainment TV Wilma Galvante dahil sa "lack of probable cause."

Ang rekomendasyon ay ginawa ni Assistant City Prosecutor Ronald C. Torralba. At inaprubahan ito nina First Assistant City Prosecutor Meynardo M. Bautista Jr. at Second Assistant City Prosecutor Alfredo P. Agcaoili. Ibinaba ang desisyon sa kasong ito noong July 24, 2009.

Matatandaang isinampa ni Annabelle ang reklamong grave oral defamation kay Ms. Galvante noong April 14, 2009 dahil sinisiraan siya diumano ng lady executive sa kanyang mga alaga, partikular na sa young actor na si JC de Vera. Ito ay nangyari nang ikulong diumano ni Ms. Galvante si JC sa kanyang opisina noong February 16, 2009. (Click here to read related story.)

"NOTHING DEROGATORY NOR INSULTING." Ayon sa resolution ni Asst. City Prosecutor Torralba, hindi siya kumbinsido na dapat maging liable ang respondent (Ms. Galvante) sa grave oral defamation case base sa mga tanong at komento diumano ng TV executive kay JC, gaya ng mga sumusunod:

"Tingnan mo? Tingnan mo kung ano ang ginagawa ng manager mo?"

"Hindi kayo puwedeng tumanggi sa show at kung tumanggi kayo, puwede kayo mademanda."

"They were just tolerating Annabelle, because when she didn't like a project, she would pull out her talents pag malapit na ang show. Pero sobra na."

"Happy ka ba sa manager mo? Ilan taon pa ba ang kontrata mo sa kanya?

"May kopya ka ba ng contract mo with Annabelle? Puwede ko bang makita?"

"If there is anything I can help you with, just tell me."

Ayon kay Asst. City Prosecutor Torralba: "Contrary to the theory of the complainant [Annabelle] that said statements are defamatory, insulting, malicious, and tend to prejudice complainant in her reputation, office or trade, business or means of livelihood, the undersigned finds nothing derogatory nor insulting to the complainant but rather finds the said statements to be more of a reminder to JC that they could be held liable in case they fail to comply with their contract with the network than a malicious or defamatory statement.

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"That while it is true that respondent had no right to interfere with the contract between the complainant and her talent, respondent has every right to protect the interest of the network she represents, being the Vice President of the Entertainment Division of GMA. She cannot be prevented from reminding contracted talents and managers of the possible consequences of any failure to comply with the Management contract."

NO INTENT TO MALIGN. Idinagdag din ng assistant prosecutor na walang ebidensiya na magpapatunay na may pre-arranged plan na kausapin si JC dahil spontaneous naman daw ang meeting na naganap sa pagitan ng young actor at ni Ms. Galvante.

Resulta lamang daw ito ng concern ni Ms. Galvante kay JC, na nakitang umiiyak sa labas ng kanyang opisina pagkatapos malaman ng young actor ang pagkakaalis niya sa programang Obra.

"Such fact negates the existence of intent to malign on the part of the respondent which is an essential element of the crime of Grave Oral Defamation. In crimes penalized under the Revised Penal Code, criminal intent is very material. As already stated, if one element of the crime is absent, the crime does not exist."

BAKIT NAGPALIPAS SI JC NG MAHIGIT ISANG BUWAN? Nakasaad pa sa resolution na inamin ni Annabelle sa kanyang Affidavit na wala siya nung oras na sinabi diumano ang "defamatory statements" laban sa kanya. Si JC lamang daw at si Ms. Galvante ang nag-uusap nung oras na yun.

Dagdag pa ni Asst. Prosecutor Torralba: "While the presence of the complainant is not necessary to commit the crime charged, the presence of the witnesses for the respondent who corroborated the allegations of respondent cannot be disregarded. It proves that JC was called to complainant's office to protect his image as he was seen crying rather than to intentionally malign the complainant.

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"There is also no allegation as to when the complainant was told of the incident, more specifically, the date when JC informed his manager about the meeting that took place and where the statements were made which is very relevant considering the existence of a prior civil case involving the same parties before the court.

"Based on the date appearing on the Affidavits of both the complainant and Mr. De Vera, both the complaint affidavit and the supporting affidavit were subscribed and sworn to only on April 15, 2009. The supposed incident took place February 16, 2009 or almost two (2) months from the date the supposed incident took place. The affidavit of Mr. JC de Vera which was used in the Civil Case pending before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City for Damages is dated April 1, 2009 executed more than a month from the date the meeting took place. This complaint was filed only on April 15, 2009.

"Without questioning the credibility of JC, such length of time, between the date of the utterance and the date when the affidavit of JC was executed, the said affidavit is already susceptible to errors and inconsistency. If he really thought that respondent was intentionally trying to make him perceive his manager in a bad light, he should not have waited for the lapse of more than a month and if Mr. de Vera immediately relayed it to the complainant, there would be no reason for them to wait for almost two (2) months to file this case.

"The only logical perception that can be derived from such a delay is that the filing of this case is but a mere afterthought on the part of the complainant to gain leverage against the respondent in the Civil Case for damages filed ahead of this complaint."

"LACK OF PROBABLE CAUSE." Ang tinutukoy na Civil Case ay ang damage suit na isinampa ni Ms. Galvante laban kay Annabelle noong March 17, 2009. (Click here to read related article.)

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Tinapos ni Asst. City Prosecutor Torralba ang kanyang resolution sa pamamagitan nito: "WHEREFORE, the undersigned recommends the DISMISSAL of the complaint for lack of probable cause."

Maaari pa ring mag-file ng motion for reconsideration ang kampo ni Annabelle sa Office of the City Prosecutor.


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