Libel case filed by Jan-jan's parents dismissed

By Shiela Reyes,

Posted at Jul 03 2012 04:15 PM | Updated as of Jul 04 2012 12:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The Quezon City State Prosecutor dismissed the libel and child abuse charges filed by the parents of "Jan-Jan” against advocates who took offense over the boy’s dancing on the March 12 episode of "Willing Willie."

In a seven-page resolution penned by Assistant City Prosecutor Raymond Oliver Almonte, the city prosecutor’s office said the pieces of evidence were insufficient in both charges.

The complaint was filed by Joe and Diana Suan, parents of “Jan-Jan,” a 6-year-old boy who danced in the March 12 episode of the now defunct TV5 variety show for P10,000.

The incident earned flak from several child's rights advocates, including child psychologist Lourdes Carandang, Froilan Grate and writer John Silva.

But Jan-Jan’s parents said these advocates should be tried for libel for insisting that the child was a victim of abuse.

The respondents were also charged after they called for an investigation against “Willing Willie” for child exploitation.

The Suans said it was an imputation of a “vice or defect” or “status or circumstance” that had caused them “dishonor, discredit or contempt.”

The resolution read, however, that “upon examination of all the subject articles of the complaint as a whole, the remarks and comments of the respondents were directed on the host and sponsors of the show ‘Willing Willie.’”

It also read that Jan-Jan’s parents failed to establish that the respondents had the intention to “injure their reputation.”

The fiscal's office also did not find probable cause in the child abuse charges.

The resolution read “the complainants failed to establish in their complaint that the respondents committed acts of child abuse against them and John David Suan aka Jan-jan.”

It said that the complainants should be able to provide evidence. In this case, “allegation is not tantamount to proof.”