Uplifting Ads: Here’s the YouTube version, libel prescriptive period, etc. on Headstart by Karen Davila on ABS-CBN News Channel; the June 15 episode one hour BEFORE  the promulgation of the libel case against journalists Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and reporter Rey Santos Jr. . Headstart airs weekdays 8am on Channel 27 with replays at middays.

      Legal Discussion in the show:
      In Philippine jurisdiction, there are  two paradigms of law that are involved in libel law and jurisprudence:   The Revised Penal Code (RPC) of Spanish medieval origin, and the defenses in libel (privileged communication, the Public Figure Doctrine, etc)  of American constitutional law origin. “Good faith” as a defense is mentioned in the libel law provision of the RPC but not defined; its definition and exposition can be found in constitutional law jurisprudence, i.e., cases in constitutional law, e.g., the Public Figure Doctrine. 

       Generally, every defamatory imputation is presumed malicious and generally truth is not a defense, i.e., defamation automatically carries with it the element of malice (malice presumed, no necessity to prove malice), since most people are private persons; HOWEVER, there is good faith when the Public Figure Doctrine is involved, i.e, when the news organization can show that the report involves public officials or public figures, and the report is substantially true, and it is based on sources (no “reckless disregard for the truth”), then there is absence of malice; there is no liability. This is privileged communication in libel law, it is a defense in libel, and no liability will attach for libel.
       Who are public figures? For the different categories of who public figures are: See Borjal vs. Court of Appeals with annotation by Justice Coquia , and many other cases. A public figure is anyone who gains prominence by reason of  any of the following : crime, or because of their profession (actors, athletes, etc) , or accomplishment, or being a prodigy (talent), or heroism, or advocacy, etc etc.,  or being in the catch-all category “involvement in a newsworthy event.” Newsworthy events include the following :

       Traditional Elements of News : crime, tragedies, street accidents, calamities, wars, epidemics, oddity, scientific inventions, social conflicts, etc., etc….

     In such a case, as stated, you’ll need to show that your report is substantially true and that it is based on sources.

     Here’s a  quick, fast summary  in the 17-minute excerpt of Headstart ably anchored by Karen Davila (video below)

credits: as stated in the video

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