OLONGAPO CITY — A local court here acquitted former Interaksyon editor-in-chief Roby Alampay and journalist Ansbert Joaquin of cyber libel charges.
In a decision issued June 8, Judge Gemma Theresa Hilario-Logronio of Olongapo Regional Trial Court Branch 73 said that the prosecution failed to establish malice, one of the elements of libel in the Philippines, against Joaquin. The judge said that it follows that Alampay, as then editor of Interaksyon, is also not guilty.
The charges stemmed from an open letter penned by Joaquin and published by Interaksyon in July 2016. Former SBMA Senior Deputy Administrator Stefani Sano filed the complaint against Joaquin and Alampay.
Alampay and Joaquin welcomed the court’s decision after nearly five years of trial.
Joaquin maintained that libel should be decriminalized, adding that imprisonment as punishment, if convicted, caused him and his family mental torment.
Joaquin was represented by lawyers Jocelyn Clemente and Lourdes de Dios while Alampay was represented by his legal counsels Paul Bongco and Robert Ian San Andres.