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Republic of the Philippines

National Capital Judicial Region


REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
Branch 161, Pasig City

People of the Philippines,


Plaintiff,
Criminal Case No. M-PSG-17-
- versus - 00541-CR
For: Slight Oral
MARY ROSE AIMEE L. Defamation
DIRECTO
Accused.
x -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x

MEMORANDUM OF APPEAL

The private complainants in this case, by and through the


undersigned counsel, respectfully submit their memorandum and
hereby allege as follows:

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

The accused was charged before the lower court with Slight
Oral Defamation, as defined and penalized under the Revised Penal
Code, as follows:

“On or about March 7, 2016, in Pasig City and within the


jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, the accused, with the malicious
purpose of impeaching and besmirching the virtue, character and
reputation of complainants Jay Michael V. Yason and Arlene C.
Dela Paz-Yason, did then and there willfully, unlawfully and
feloniously utter the following defamatory words and imputations
against said complainants, to wit:

“Alam ko kaya ako nila tinanggal sa procurement ay para


magawa nila lahat ng gusto nila at mabili nila ang gusto nila.”

“Katulad na lang ng mga second hand office chair na binili


sa HMR gusto kasi nila kumita doon pati sa mga delivery
charges.”

“At alam mo ba? Pinagkikitaan din nila ang pagbenta ng lote


dito!”

which utterances, made known to complainants only on October


12, 2016 impute a vice or defect, tending to cause dishonor,
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discredit and contempt of complainants to their damage and


prejudice.

Contrary to law.”

The accused was convicted of the said offense by the lower


court in its Decision dated 6 April 2018 (promulgated last 13 April
2018) as follows:

“WHEREFORE, premises considered, accused MARY ROSE


DIRECTO is hereby found GUILTY beyond reasonable doubt of the
crime of slight oral defamation. Accordingly, the Court hereby
imposes upon the penalty of FINE in the amount of two hundred
pesos (Php200.00), with subsidiary imprisonment in case of
insolvency.

SO ORDERED.”

The lower court did not hold the accused liable civilly against
the complainants, hence this appeal.

ISSUE

WHETHER OR NOT THE ACCUSED


SHOULD ALSO BE HELD CIVILLY LIABLE
TO THE PRIVATE COMPLAINANTS

DISCUSSION

Having been convicted by the lower court of the offense


charged, the accused should also be held liable for the damage she
caused the private complainants, as a result of her actions.

The pertinent provisions of the Revised Penal Code are clear


on this point:

“Chapter One
PERSON CIVILLY LIABLE FOR FELONIES

Article 100. Civil liability of a person guilty of felony. - Every person


criminally liable for a felony is also civilly liable.

Article 104. What is included in civil liability. - The civil liability


established in Articles 100, 101, 102, and 103 of this Code
includes:

1. Restitution;
2. Reparation of the damage caused;
3. Indemnification for consequential damages. “
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(Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

The New Civil Code is no less categorical:

“Article 2219. Moral damages may be recovered in the following


and analogous cases:

(1) A criminal offense resulting in physical injuries;


(2) Quasi-delicts causing physical injuries;
(3) Seduction, abduction, rape, or other lascivious acts;
(4) Adultery or concubinage;
(5) Illegal or arbitrary detention or arrest;
(6) Illegal search;
(7) Libel, slander or any other form of defamation;
(8) Malicious prosecution;
(9) Acts mentioned in article 309;
(10) Acts and actions referred to in articles 21, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30,
32, 34, and 35.”

(Emphasis and underscoring supplied)

The Supreme Court had also applied the same principles in


numerous cases, most especially in one involving the same offense
for which the accused herein was convicted of, slight oral defamation:

“Underlying the legal principle that a person who is criminally


liable is also civilly liable is the view that from the standpoint of its
effects, a crime has dual character: (1) as an offense against the
state because of the disturbance of the social order; and (2) as an
offense against the private person injured by the crime unless
it involves the crime of treason, rebellion, espionage, contempt and
others wherein no civil liability arises on the part of the offender
either because there are no damages to be compensated or there
is no private person injured by the crime.

In the ultimate analysis, what gives rise to the civil liability is


really the obligation of everyone to repair or to make whole the
damage caused to another by reason of his act or omission,
whether done intentional or negligently and whether or not
punishable by law.

In the case at bar, private respondent was found guilty of slight oral
defamation and sentenced to a fine of P50.00 with subsidiary
imprisonment in case of insolvency, but no civil liability arising from
the felonious act of the accused was adjudged. This is erroneous.
As a general rule, a person who is found to be criminally liable
offends two (2) entities: the state or society in which he lives
and the individual member of the society or private person
who was injured or damaged by the punishable act or
omission. The offense of which private respondent was found
guilty is not one of those felonies where no civil liability
results because either there is no offended party or no damage
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was caused to a private person. There is here an offended party,


whose main contention precisely is that he suffered damages in
view of the defamatory words and statements uttered by private
respondent, in the amount of Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) as
moral damages and the further sum of Ten Thousand Pesos
(P10,000) as exemplary damages.

Article 2219, par. (7) of the Civil Code allows the recovery of moral
damages in case of libel, slander or any other form of defamation
This provision of law establishes the right of an offended party
in a case for oral defamation to recover from the guilty party
damages for injury to his feelings and reputation. The
offended party is likewise allowed to recover punitive or
exemplary damages.

It must be remembered that every defamatory imputation is


presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention
and justifiable motive for making it is shown. And malice may be
inferred from the style and tone of publication subject to certain
exceptions which are not present in the case at bar.

Calling petitioner who was a barangay captain an ignoramus,


traitor, tyrant and Judas is clearly an imputation of defects in
petitioner's character sufficient to cause him embarrassment and
social humiliation. Petitioner testified to the feelings of shame
and anguish he suffered as a result of the incident complained
of. It is patently error for the trial court to overlook this vital piece of
evidence and to conclude that the "facts and circumstances of the
case as adduced by the evidence do not warrant the awarding of
moral damages." Having misapprehended the facts, the trial court's
findings with respect thereto is not conclusive upon us.1”

(Emphasis supplied)

In this case, having been convicted by the lower court of the


crime of slight oral defamation, the accused should have likewise
been ordered to pay damages for the effect of her derogatory
remarks on the reputations of the private complainants herein, who
are both doctors, professionals in their chosen fields of specialization.

As found by the lower court in its Decision convicting the


accused of the offense charged:

“It is also worthy to note that the complainants spouses Yason,


aside from being both doctors by profession, were also
incorporators, shareholders, and officers of the MDHMCI –

1
G.R. No. 82146, January 22, 1990, EULOGIO OCCENA, petitioner, vs.
HON. PEDRO M. ICAMINA, Presiding Judge, Branch X of the Regional Trial Court Sixth
Judicial Region, San Jose, Antique; THE PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by
the Honorable Provincial Fiscal of Antique; and CRISTINA VEGAFRIA, respondents.
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complainant Dr. Jay Michael V. Yason being the President and


CEO and complainant Dr. Arlene C. Dela Paz-Yason being the
Head of the Construction Committee. Needless to state, they both
held a high-esteemed position in the MDHMCI, and respectable at
that. Given their standing, ascribing to them anomalies and
irregularities, such as the utterances made by accused
Directo, definitely discredited or impeached their good names
and reputation.” 2 (Emphasis supplied)

As stated by private complainant Dr. Arlene Yason in her


Judicial Affidavit submitted before the lower court, and for which she
was cross examined by the counsel for the accused3:

“20. And after Ivy told you what the accused said, what happened?

a. We were removed from the board of Marikina Doctors


Hospital last November 21, 2016. Before we were removed
as Board of Directors a meeting was called among the
founders or investors of the hospital, they asked questions
about the purchase on HMR office, lot where the hospital was
built, equipment, etc from us in accusatory tones. and then
the board decided to hold the stockholders’ meeting earlier,
that we should have the meeting later that month also, in
November 2016.
21. Then what happened?

b. My husband was nominated to a seat in the board but he


refused. I decided to run but was not elected. Then some of
our incorporators-founders and investors who are board of
directors of Marikina Doctors Hospital in other ongoing
projects backed out, and some of our friends would no longer
invite us to be part of similar projects, saying we already have
a bad reputation in because of the rumors coming from
Marikina Doctors Hospital.
22. Then what happened?

a. Now we can no longer be prominently associated with any


hospital project; we cannot be visible in such projects, we can
only join in the background, that we can provide funding but it
should not be emphasized before other investors, because of
what they have heard happen in Marikina Doctors Hospital.
23. And then what happened?
a. After Ivy told us, we discussed our options, consulted lawyers,
and decided to file this case. We have already spent at least
Php100,000.00 on acceptance fees and we pay our lawyer
Php4,000.00 per hearing as appearance fee. We paid twice

2 Page 12, Decision


33 Pages 4-5, Judicial Affidavit of Dr. Arlene C. dela Paz-Yason
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for the acceptance fee one for you and one for the firm of Atty
Mutia .”

Clearly, the defamatory utterances of the accused had a


negative effect on the private complainants, for which she should be
held liable civilly.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed


that the Decision of the lower court dated 6 April 2018 be modified, in
that the accused should also be held civilly liable to the private
complainants herein for actual damages in the amount of at least
Php100,000.00, as well as moral and exemplary damages.

The private complainants likewise pray for such other reliefs as


may be deemed just and equitable under the premises.

Parañaque City for Pasig City, 3 October 2018.

JOSEPH JOHN GERALD M. AGUAS


Counsel for the Private Complainants
28 Gonzales St., Sinag Tala Subdivision, BF
Homes, Paranaque City 1700
PTR No. 6367679 4 Jan 2018 Lucena City
IBP Lifetime No. 761/Roll No. 38313
MCLE Compliance VI #8203 until 14 April 2022
Tel No. 09178422668

Copy furnished:

MORALES JUSTINIANO PEÑA AND LUMAGUI


Counsel for the Accused
7th Floor, RCI Building
Rada Street, Legaspi Village
Makati City
LBC/RR # ______________________

EXPLANATION

Service of the foregoing pleading on the adverse parties to this case was done
via private courier/registered mail, due to lack of personnel and time necessary to
effect personal service thereof.