Supreme Court dismisses Sharon Cuneta’s libel suit against two tabloid editors

Pinagtibay ng Supreme Court ang desisyon ng Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court na ibasura ang isinampang libel case ni Sharon Cuneta laban sa tabloid editors na sina Lito Bautista at Jimmy Alcantara.


Pinagtibay ng Supreme Court kahapon, Nobyembre 9, ang naging desisyon ng Mandaluyong City Regional Trial Court noong Abril 25, 2008, na ibasura ang libel case na isinampa ni Sharon Cuneta laban sa dalawang editors ng tabloid na Bandera.

Noong 2001 ay nagsampa ang Megastar ng kasong libelo laban kina Lito Bautista at Jimmy Alcantara.



THE ARTICLES. Ang kaso ay kaugnay ng mga artikulong lumabas tungkol kay Sharon noong Marso 27, 2001 at April 24, 2001, na isinulat ni Pete G. Ampoloquio.

Ang una ay ang artikulong “Naburyong sa Kaplastikan ni Sharon ang Milyonaryang Supporter ni Kiko,” na lumabas sa column ni Ampoloquio na Usapang Censored.

Dito’y tinawag ang Megastar na “plastic, ingrate, mega-brat, mega-sungit, at brain dead.”

Ang sumunod naman ay ang artikulong “Magtigil Ka Sharon!” na lumabas sa column pa rin ni Ampoloquio.

Sinabi naman sa artikulong ito na tinatrato raw ni Sharon ang kanyang asawang si Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan na “wimp” at “sampid.”

Ang mga artikulong ito’y nagdulot daw ng “public dishonor, shame and contempt” sa TV host-singer-actress.

Ayon sa report ng isang daily broadsheet, ibinasura ng Supreme Court ang naging desisyon noon ng Court of Appeals na ituloy ang kaso laban sa mga editors ng Bandera.

Nakasaad sa 19-page resolution na inilabas ni Associate Justice Diosdado Peralta kahapon, Nobyembre 9, na may “procedural misstep” si Sharon sa pag-aapela ng kanyang isinampang kaso.

Ipinaliwanag sa resolusyon na, “In criminal cases, the acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case against the person can only be appealed by the Solicitor-General, acting on behalf of the State…

“The capability of the private complainant to question such dismissal or acquittal is limited only to the civil aspect of the case.

“The petition filed by the respondent before the CA essentially questioned the criminal aspect of the Order of the RTC, not the civil aspect of the case…

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“Since the petition filed in the CA was not at the instance of the OSG, the same should have been outrightly dismissed by the CA.

“Respondent [Cuneta] lacked the personality or legal standing to question the trial court’s order because it is only the OSG who can bring actions on behalf of the State in criminal proceedings, before the Supreme Court and CA.”

DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE. Ang desisyon ng Supreme Court ay pagpapatibay sa desisyong inilabas ng Mandaluyong RTC noong April 25, 2008, na nag-grant sa petisyon ng mga editors para sa demurrer to evidence.

Ayon sa freedictionary.com, ang demurrer to evidence ay "an exception taken by a party to the evidence offered by the opposite party, and an objecting to proceed further, on the allegation that such evidence is not sufficient in law to maintain the issue, and a reference to the court to determine the point."

Isinampa nina Lito Bautista at Jimmy Alcantara ang kanilang Motion for Demurrer to Evidence noong Nobyembre 14, 2006.

Ayon sa resolusyong inilabas ng Mandaluyong RTC, nakasaad sa petisyon nina Bautista at Alcantara na “the prosecution’s evidence failed to establish their participation as Editor and Associate Editor, respectively, of the publication Bandera; that they were not properly identified by respondent herself during her testimony; and that the subject articles written by Ampoloquio were not libelous due to absence of malice.”


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