Anda di halaman 1dari 5

The Nature Of Slander And Libel

The advent of technology such as social media made it easy for rumor mongers and mud-slingers to spread
lies and deceptions resulting in tainting an individual's reputation and dignity. These days, destroying a person
can be done effortlessly, thanks to a plethora of social media platforms. Fortunately, these acts do not go
unpunished because crimes against honor are penalised as stated under the Revised Penal Code of the
Philippines. Whether spoken or written, a person who intends to dishonor or discredit a person is held liable
for the crime of libel or slander. So, what are the nature and gravity of these crimes?

Art. 353. Definition of libel. — A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or
imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or
contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.

Art. 354. Requirement for publicity. — 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, except in the following cases:

1. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social
duty; and

2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or
other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered
in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

Art. 355. Libel means by writings or similar means. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing,
lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any
similar means, shall be punished by prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging
from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party.

Art. 356. Threatening to publish and offer to present such publication for a compensation. — The penalty of
arresto mayor or a fine from 200 to 2,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any person who threatens
another to publish a libel concerning him or the parents, spouse, child, or other members of the family of the
latter or upon anyone who shall offer to prevent the publication of such libel for a compensation or money
consideration.

Art. 357. Prohibited publication of acts referred to in the course of official proceedings. — The penalty of
arresto mayor or a fine of from 20 to 2,000 pesos, or both, shall be imposed upon any reporter, editor or
manager or a newspaper, daily or magazine, who shall publish facts connected with the private life of another
and offensive to the honor, virtue and reputation of said person, even though said publication be made in
connection with or under the pretext that it is necessary in the narration of any judicial or administrative
proceedings wherein such facts have been mentioned.

Art. 358. Slander. — Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision
correccional in its minimum period if it is of a serious and insulting nature; otherwise the penalty shall be
arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.
Art. 359. Slander by deed. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall
perform any act not included and punished in this title, which shall cast dishonor, discredit or contempt upon
another person. If said act is not of a serious nature, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding
200 pesos.

Truth Be Told: Burden Of Proof And Presumptions

By Pinoy Attorney , on 10 January 2017 18:05

The pictorial maxim of three wise monkeys suggests that we should maintain good mind, speech and action.
However, in today's world marred by deception, lies and pretensions, turning a blind eye is not an option. In
the digital age, turning to social media is like opening Pandora's box. You will be greeted by a smorgasbord of
gossips, fake news and whatnot.

However, reality does not get any better. You are judged based on your actions and that is the harsh truth
everyone wants to hide in a sugar-coated lie. One would say that less talk means less mistake. When everyone
is on the safe side, many people becomes a slave to mediocrity, which is quite boring unless you prefer to
become completely dead to the world, unperturbed to what is happening around you.

We are human microscopes prying something out of a hapless specimen. When you just want to call a spade a
spade, it does not give you absolute freedom to spew the words without inflicting harm. Call it accusation or
allegation, but it has a certain degree of damage that awakens law from its deep slumber.

You mince your words, but without evidence, it becomes a fabricated story...hearsay. The ears can be
selective. It can twist your words and even make things more confusing than you know leaving a bad taste in
your mouth. I rest my case.

Burden of Proof and Presumptions

Section 1. Burden of Proof… the Duty of a party to present evidence on the facts in issue necessary to establish
his claim by the amount of evidence required by law. This is also known as the Onus Probandi

I. Introduction.

Relationship between allegation and proof. He who alleges must prove. Allegations do not prove themselves.
Although plaintiff’s causes of actions are couched in the strongest terms and most persuasive language, the
allegations are of no consequence unless they are substantiated. Similarly, in criminal cases, the offense and
the aggravating circumstances charged in an Information remain just accusations until they are shown to be
true by the presentation of evidence. Defendant is not relieved from liability simply because the raises a
defenses.

II. Distinguished from related concepts:

1. Burden of Proof Proper or Burden of Persuasion or Risk of Non Persuasion- the duty of the party alleging the
case to prove it.
a). This lies with the plaintiff

b). This lies too with the defendant as to his defenses and counter-claim

2. Burden of Evidence or Burden of Going Forward- The duty or logical necessity imposed upon a party, at any
time during the trial, to establish a prima facie case in his favor or to overcome a prima facie case against him

3. Points of distinction:

a). The former never shifts but remains constant with the party while the latter shifts from one party to the
other as the trial progresses

b). In civil cases where it leis is determined by the pleadings while the latter is determined by the rules of logic.

III. Who has the Burden of Proof Proper

1. The general rule is- he who would lose the case if no evidence is presented. Hence it is the plaintiff as to his
causes of action, and the defendant as to his counterclaim.

2. In criminal cases, the burden of proving guilt is always the plaintiff/prosecution. But if the accused sets up an
affirmative defense, the burden is on him to prove such by “clear, affirmative and strong evidence”

Oral Defamation, Slander and Libel: The Thin Line That Separates Them

By Pinoy Attorney , on 05 September 2016 09:20

Leave a comment

They say, "stick and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me". Words can hurt people and
can scar them for life. When a person becomes a victim to the throes of another person's anger, hurtful words
become a powerful weapon that pierces through the soul. Some would simply shrug these off, but if words
have already tainted one's reputation, honor or character, the matters are taken to court. Libel, oral
defamation or slander. These are freedom of speech and expression gone wrong. As they say, too much of
everything is bad and even if you only intend to express your anger, discontentment or turmoil towards the
person by uttering or writing unpleasant words against him or her, the damage cannot be undone. However,
deciphering the intricacies of laws concerning violation of freedom of speech and expression can be quite
puzzling. So, how does libel differ from slander?

Libel

Libel, according the to Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code is "the public and malicious imputation of a
crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending
to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one
who is dead"

"ART. 355. Libel by means of writings or similar means. — A libel committed by means of writing, printing,
lithography, engraving, radio, phonograph, painting, theatrical exhibition, cinematographic exhibition, or any
similar means, shall be punished by prisión correccional in its minimum and medium periods or a fine ranging
from 200 to 6,000 pesos, or both, in addition to the civil action which may be brought by the offended party."

Slander or Oral Defamation

Slander or oral defamation is defined as speaking of base or defamatory words with an intention to prejudice
another person in his or her reputation. Slander by deed on the other hand, is an act committed which tends
to discredit or dishonor another individual. (Article 359 of the Revised Penal Code)

Art. 358. Slander. — Oral defamation shall be punished by arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision
correccional in its minimum period if it is of a serious and insulting nature; otherwise the penalty shall be
arresto menor or a fine not exceeding 200 pesos.

Art. 359. Slander by deed. — The penalty of arresto mayor in its maximum period to prision correccional in its
minimum period or a fine ranging from 200 to 1,000 pesos shall be imposed upon any person who shall
perform any act not included and punished in this title, which shall cast dishonor, discredit or contempt upon
another person. If said act is not of a serious nature, the penalty shall be arresto menor or a fine not exceeding
200 pesos.

Whether it is spoken or written, it is every person's responsibility to mince words to avoid hurting another
person's feelings. It is true that the freedom of speech and expression is one of the most valued rights, but this
does not give you license to say as you please.

Posted in:

Can You File A Case Against Rumor-Mongers?

By Pinoy Attorney , on 29 July 2016 10:48

Leave a comment

Bob Dylan used to say "old habits die hard: the things that are really not important are sometimes the hardest
to give up". Perhaps the same principle applies to spreading gossips. When intrusion to someone's privacy
becomes a habit, it begins to be part of your system. Although rumor-mongering seems to be a recreation to
some, it can still be damaging to one's reputation as it can spread like wild fire. Before you know it, everyone
in your community has already heard about a senseless rumor about you. What legal actions can you take
against a person who spreads rumors?

Article 26, Chapter 2: Human Relations

"Art. 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and
other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce
a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:

(1) Prying into the privacy of another's residence:


(2) Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another;

(3) Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;

(4) Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical
defect, or other personal condition.

Discussion/Explanation:

1. Duty to Respect Dignity and Privacy


This article enhances human digminty and personality. Social equity is noy sought, but due regard for decency
and propriety.

2. Remedies
a. An action for damages
b. An action for prevention
c. Any other relief

A civil action may be instituted even if no crime is involved and moral damages may be obtained.

3. Scope
a. Prying into the privacy of another's residence- includes by the implication respect for another's name,
picture, or personality except insofar as is needed fro publication of information and pictures of legitimate
news value.

b. Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another- includes alienation of the
affections of the husband or the wife. Thus a girl who makes love to a married man, even if there be no carnal
relations, disturbs his family life, and damages may therefore be asked of her. Intriguing against another's
honor is also included.

c. Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends- includes gossiping, and reliance on hearsay.

d. Vexing or humiliating- includes criticism of one's health or features without justifiable legal cause. Religious
freedom does not authorize anyone to heap obloquy and disrepute upon another by reason of the latter's
religion."