MANILA — The Davao City Office of the Prosecutor has dismissed for lack of probable cause the cyberlibel complaints filed by Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy against ABS-CBN Corp. over its news reports.
Uy earlier claimed that the news organization's stories on the Malampaya deal, which quoted the graft complaint against him, were libelous.
But the prosecutor's office said a perusal of the articles showed they "were not defamatory."
"When viewed in its entirety and plain meaning, the articles do not impute a finding that impeaches the virtue, credit, and reputation of complainant Uy," the prosecutor said in a resolution dated May 5 and received on June 20.
"Notably, the writer in the subject articles merely presented a fair and true report of events by quoting certain publicly available documents and information from the graft complaint filed against the complainant; proceedings before the Senate; and several public meetings or webinars held," it continued.
The resolution added that the articles were "bereft of any personal comments or remarks made by the writer himself out from the said publicly available information."
Uy "failed to specify which part of the subject articles were based on pure speculations and conjectures of the writer," said the prosecutor.
Last week, outgoing Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi withdrew his libel and cyberlibel complaints against ABS-CBN Corp. and 6 other news organizations over their stories on the Malampaya deal.
Uy's complaint had named as respondents ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak, ABS-CBN News Digital chief and Executive Editor Lynda Jumilla, and journalist Anjo Bagaoisan.
ABS-CBN News' articles were based on the filing of a graft complaint before the Ombudsman against Cusi, Uy and several others over the sale of Chevron’s stake in the Malampaya project to the Davao-based businessman’s Udenna Corp.
The complainants, Balgamel de Belen Domingo, Rodel Rodis, and Loida Nicolas Lewis, alleged that anomalies in the Malampaya Project resulted in "a minimum of over P21 to 42 billion in total losses to the government.”
The story also mentioned Cusi’s earlier defense of the Malampaya deal wherein he denied it was a “midnight deal”, as well as Udenna’s statement that the transaction was above board.
ABS-CBN's executives, in their counter-affidavit, said there was nothing defamatory or malicious in the article that its website published regarding the graft complaint.
news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.
FROM THE ARCHIVES: