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PEOPLE V.

CANOY

FACTS:

Den Canoy is the eldest of four (4) children of the spouses Rebecca Roche and accused Hermenio Canoy.
Sometime on 1994, Den woke up to find her father, who usually slept next to her, inserting his finger into
her vagina. She felt pain but did not resist; instead, she cried and uttered “Pa don’t, its painful”. In the
morning of 31 May 1998, accused held the victims arm, undress her and inserted his penis to her vagina.
Same act happened on February of 1999. Accused stayed on top of the victim for some time but removed
his penis when he was about to ejaculate. Only on February of 1998, that the victim reported the incident
to the police. RTC charged accused with Acts of Lasciviousness and two (2) counts of Qualified Rape.
Appellant Hermenio Canoy insists that the evidence of the prosecution is weak and insufficient to establish
his guilt.

Issue: Whether or not the trial court erred in convicting the accused of the crimes charged.

HELD: No. The contentions of appellant have no merit, for which reason his conviction must be affirmed.
It is a long-settled rule in criminal jurisprudence that when the issue is one of credibility of witnesses, an
appellate court will normally not disturb the factual findings of the trial court in the absence of a clear
showing that the court had failed to appreciate facts and circumstances which if taken into account, would
materially affect the result of the case. The trial courts evaluation of the testimonies of witnesses is
accorded great respect because it had the opportunity to observe the demeanor and conduct of witnesses
on the stand. Den, gave a clear and candid narration of how the sexual transgressions were committed.
Her truthfulness is more than manifest in her comportment during the trial.
PADER V. PEOPLE

FACTS:

On April 20, 1995, at about 8:00 p.m., Atty. Benjamin C. Escolango was conversing with his political leaders
at the terrace of his house at Morong, Bataan when petitioner appeared at the gate and shouted putang
ina mo Atty. Escolango. Napakawalanghiya mo! The latter was dumbfounded and embarrassed. At that
time, Atty. Escolango was a candidate for vice mayor of Morong, Bataan in the elections of May 8, 1995.
Atty. Escolango filed with the MTC of Bagac, Bataan a complaint against petitioner for grave oral
defamation. MTC rendered decision convicting petitioner of grave oral defamation. RTC affirmed. CA
affirmed.

ISSUE: Whether or not accused is guilty of the crime charged.

HELD: NO. Accused is only guilty of slight oral defamation. Somehow, the trial court failed to appreciate
the fact that the parties were also neighbors; that petitioner was drunk at the time he uttered the
defamatory words; and the fact that petitioners anger was instigated by what Atty. Escolango did when
petitioners father died. In which case, the oral defamation was not of serious or insulting nature.

The Court ruled that the expression putang ina mo is a common enough utterance in the dialect that is
often employed, not really to slender but rather to express anger or displeasure. In fact, more often, it is
just an expletive that punctuates ones expression of profanity. We do not find it seriously insulting that
after a previous incident involving his father, a drunk Rogelio Pader on seeing Atty. Escolango would utter
words expressing anger. Obviously, the intention was to show his feelings of resentment and not
necessarily to insult the latter. Being a candidate running for vice mayor, occasional gestures and words
of disapproval or dislike of his person are not uncommon.
PEOPLE V. BENIPAYO ET AL.

FACTS:

On January 31, 2002, respondent Alfredo L. Benipayo, then Chairman of the Commission on Elections
(COMELEC), delivered a speech in the Forum on Electoral Problems: Roots and Responses in the
Philippines held at the, University of the Philippines-Diliman Campus. Petitioner corporation, believing
that it was the one alluded to by the respondent when he stated in his speech that:
“Even worse, the Commission came right up to the brink of signing a 6.5 billion contract for a registration solution
that could have been bought for 350 million pesos, and an ID solution that isnt even a requirement for voting. But
reason intervened and no contract was signed.”

filed a affidavit-complaint for libel. City Prosecutor filed an Information for libel against the respondent.
Respondent moved for the dismissal of the information raising similar arguments that the court had no
jurisdiction over his person, he being an impeachable officer; and that, even if criminal prosecution were
possible, jurisdiction rested with the Sandiganbayan.

ISSUE: whether the RTC has jurisdiction over libel cases to the exclusion of all other courts.

HELD: YES.

Uniformly applied is the familiar rule that the jurisdiction of the court to hear and decide a case is
conferred by the law in force at the time of the institution of the action, unless a latter statute provides
for a retroactive application thereof. Article 360 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC), as amended by Republic
Act No. 4363, is explicit on which court has jurisdiction to try cases of written defamations, thus:

The criminal and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations as provided for in this chapter,
shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the court of first instance [now, the Regional Trial Court]
of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended
parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense xxx
LOPEZ V. PEOPLE

FACTS:

On April 3, 2003, petitioner was indicted for libel in an Information dated March 31, 2003 for putting to
public ridicule and dishonor the offended party MAYOR SALVADOR G. ESCALANTE, JR., City Mayor of Cadiz
City and with malice and intent to injure and expose the said offended party to public hatred, contempt
and ridicule put up billboards/signboards at the fence of Cadiz Hotel, Villena Street, Cadiz City and at
Gustilo Boulevard, Cadiz City, which billboards/signboards read as follows:

CADIZ FOREVER ______________ NEVER

Later on November 15, 2002, accused affixed the nickname of the herein private complainant BADING
and the name of the City of SAGAY before the word NEVER thus making the billboard appear as follows:

CADIZ FOREVER BADING AND SAGAY NEVER

The RTC rendered judgment convicting petitioner of libel. CA affirmed.

ISSUE: Whether or not accused is guilty of the crime charged

HELD: NO.

Personal hurt or embarrassment or offense, even if real, is not automatically equivalent to defamation,
words which are merely insulting are not actionable as libel or slander per se, and mere words of general
abuse however opprobrious, ill-natured, or vexatious, whether written or spoken, do not constitute bases
for an action for defamation in the absence of an allegation for special damages. The fact that the language
is offensive to the plaintiff does not make it actionable by itself.

Pursuant to Article 361 of the Revised Penal Code, if the defamatory statement is made against a public
official with respect to the discharge of his official duties and functions and the truth of the allegations is
shown, the accused will be entitled to an acquittal even though he does not prove that the imputation
was published with good motives and for justifiable ends. The policy of a public official may be attacked,
rightly or wrongly with every argument which ability can find or ingenuity invent. The public officer may
suffer under a hostile and an unjust accusation; the wound can be assuaged by the balm of a clear
conscience. A public [official] must not be too thin-skinned with reference to comments upon his official
acts.