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3'r"SIiliC
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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
OFFICE OF THE CITY PROSECUTOR
QUEZON
CITY
MAYNILAD WATER SERVICES,
INC., as represented by its Chief
Finance Officer, Randolph T.
Estrellado,
Complainant,
- versus -
I.S. No.
For: Violation of Art. 355
(Libel
by
means of writings or similar means),
in relation to Art.353
(DeJtnition
of
Libel) and Art. 360
(Persons
responsible), of The Realsed Penal
Code
(Act
No. 3815).
RODOLFO B.
JAVELLANA, IR.,
JING
VILLAMENTE, DANTE
FRANCIS M. ANG, RENE
Q.
BAS, AND BETING LAYGO
DOLO&
ResPondents.
------x
COMPLAINT.AFFIDAVIT
I, Randolph T. Estrellado, of lega1 age, Filipino, with residence address at
Unit 14 H, Shang Grand Tower, Perea St., Legaspi Village, Makati Clty,
after beilg swom in accordance with 1aw, hereby depose and state as
follows:
1. I am the Chief Finalce O{ficer of MaJnilad Water Services, Lrc.
("Mayni1ad"), a corporation duly organized and existing under the
laws of the Philippines, with principal o{{ice located at MWSS
Complex, Katipunan Road, Balara,
Quezon
City. I am filing this
Complaint-Affidavit on behalf of, and as the duly authorized
representative of Ma1mi1ad, as evidenced by a Secretary's Certiflcate
dated 18 lt{arch 201-4, and attached hereto as Artrex "A," ald made
an integral part hereof.
2. Al1 the herein named Respondents may be served notices, pleadings,
orders,
judgments, and a1l other official papers and communications
regarding the instant case at the following addresses:
2.1..
2.2.
2.3.
2.4.
1.r.
Rodolfo B.
Javellana, !r. -
32 Valiant Street, Fairview Park,
Samaka fairr iew .
Quezon
Ci$;
Jing
Villamente
-
writer of the Manila Times with address at
2/I Grande B1dg., 409 A. Soriano Ave., Intramuros, Manila;
Dante Francis M. Ang
-
President and Chief Executive Officer
of the Manila Times with address at 2/F Grande 81d9.,409 A.
Soriano Ave., Intramuros, Manila;
Rene
Q.
Bas
-
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Manila
Times with address at 2/F Grande B1dg..40o A. Soriano Ave.,
Intramuros, Manila;
Beting Laygo Dolor
-
Managing Editor o{ the Manila Times
with address at 2/F Grande Bldg., 409 A. Soriano Ave.,
Intramuros, Manila.
I am filing ihis complaint for violation of Art. 355 (Libel by means af
writings or similar means), in relation to Art. 353 (Definition of Libel),
and Article 360
(Persons responsible), of The Revised Penal Code
("RPC") against Respondents Rodolfo B.
Javellana, Jr.
("Jave11ana"),
the President of Water for A1l Refund Movement, lnc.,
Jing
3.
Villamente, Dante Francis M. A.& Rene
Q.
Bas, and Beting Laygo
Do1or, (co1lective1y, the "Respondents").
4. This complaint stems from the following:
4.1. On 17 December 2013,
Javellana,
as author/originator of the
defamatory statement, together with
Jing
Villamente, as writer
of the defamatory article, Dante Francls M. A.g, as President
and CEO of Manila Times, Rene
Q.
Bas, as Publisher and
Editor-irr-Chief of Manila Times, and Beting Laygo Do1or, as
Managing Editor of Manila Times, without due regard for
truth, proprlety and fairness, caused the writing and
publication of a scurrilous, injurious, defamatory and libelous
article in the Manila Times, a newspaper of general circulation
in the Phllippines, with the intention of attacking ald
exposing Maynilad to public ridicule, contempt and hatred, as
follows:
"SeLected
Philippine
journalists as uell as members of the boar
d of trustees of the Metropolitan Waterzoorks and Sewerage
System
(MWSS)
were
flozon
to Hong Kong by Maynilad and
billeted in the Four Seasons Hotel to drum up the water
concessionaire's upcoming projects and loan applications.
RJ
Jar.tellana,
president and spokesman of the Water
for
All
Refund Mottement
(WAR1I),
said Maynilad Chief Financial
OJficer Randy Estrellado boasted that Malacaiiang had giaen
its nod to the water concessionaire's projects because Manny
Pangilinan
(MVP)
contributed P300 million to the campnign
kittu o{ then oresidential candidate Benisno Aauino 3d.
4.2.
Are those PR expenses charged to our monthly bills too? ls this
true Mr. Estrellado that after your press briefing, you
personally intimated to an inJluential media guy na hindi
pababayaan ng Malacaiiang si MVP? Dahil sabi mo nagbigay
si MVP kay Ballsy Cruz ng P300 million campaign
contribution L,ny President Noy noong 20107
lattellana
said.
He said that while in Hong Kong, Maynilad picked up the hotel
tab of MWSS Regulatory
fficials
and gaae them shopping
money.
Kargado lahat yan sa ating mga monthly bills. Castos lahat ito
ng mga water consumers,
lar:ellana
said."
A copy o{ the above quoted news article ("News Article") is
attached as Annex "B," and made ar integral part hereof.
In the News Article, the Respondents knowingly and maliciously
ascribed and fabricated fictitious acts to myself and to Maynilad,
including but not limited to the following:
That I allegedly boasted that Malacaflang had given its nod to
the water concessionaire's projects and that "hindi pababayaan
ng Malacaflang si MVP because Manny Palgilinan (MVP)
contributed P300 million to the camPaisn kitty of then
presidential candidate Benigno Aquino 3'd through Ba11sy
Cnsz;"
That Maynilad and its officers have comrnitted the crime of
Corruption of Public Officials or is engaged in graft and corrupt
5.
5.1.
5.2.
officials, and (ii) doling out shopping money to MWSS
Regulatory officials, and that Maynilad wantonly and
recklessly foists these expenses to its customers through their
monthly water bi1ls.
5.3. The foregoing are acts that Maynilad and I, categorically and
strongly deny as brazen falsehoods.
6. I have neither boasted nor issued any statement to alyone, least of all
to aly member of the press, that MVP contributed any amount to
President Aquino's campaign kitty, hence, Malacafrang would not
forsake Ma1milad.
Javellala
and the other Respondents also did not
even take the time and effort to ask or verify from Maynilad the truth
or falsity of such a statement. The Respondents' statements are
obviously designed to maliciously ascribe to Maynilad and its
officers, criminal acts, behavior, or objective when the same are not
true and are absolute falsehood.
7. As agent and concessionaire of MWSS, Maynilad has always acted
within the scope ard bounds of the Concession Agreement that it
entered into with the MWSS (the "Concession Agreement"). The
tariff assessed and collected by Malmilad from its customers are in
compliance with the rate-setting mechanisms contailed irr the
Concession Agreement. A1l the fees charged to the consumers have
been reviewed, exarnined and duly authorized by the MWSS, and are
in conformity with the terrns of the Concession Agreement. Thus, the
statements in the News Articles are clearly ald rmmistakably
mlsleading, malevolent, and deceptive aspersions, designed and
engineered to bring Maynilad to disrepute and public contempt.
8.
9.
11.
10.
The enjoyment of a private reputation is as much a constitutional
right as the possession of life, liberty, or property. The 1aw recognizes
the value of such reputation ald imposes upon him who attacks it, by
slanderous words or libelous publication, the liability to make full
compensation for the damage done1.
The elements of libel are present, as can be gleaned from the facts. A
charge (o{ defamation) is sufficient if the "words are calculated to
induce the hearers to suppose and understand that the person agailst
whom they are uttered was guilty of certain offenses, or are sufficient
to impeach his honesty, virtue, or reputation, or to hold hlm up to
public ridicule"2.
It is not the intention of the writer or speaker, or the understanding of
the plaintiff or of ar.Ly hearer or reader by which the actionable
quality of the words is to be determined, but the meaning of the
words in fact conveyed on the minds of persons of reasonable
understandilg, discretion, ald candor, taking into consideration the
surrounding circumstances which were known to the hearer or
reade13.
The court will disregard alry subtle or ingenious explanation offered
by the publisher on being ca1led to accolmt. The whole question
being the effect the publication held upon the minds of the readers,
and they not havirg been assisted by the offered explanation in
reading the article, it comes too late to have the effect of removing the
sting, if any there be, from the word used in the publicationa
I
Worcester v. Ocampo. (22 Phil42)
13.
12. The statement published in the newspaper that reads "Maynilad
picked up the hotel tab of MWSS Regulatory officials and gave them
shopp:ing money" constitutes an imputation of the crime of
corruption of public officers, as punished by the Revised Penal Code.
By imputing on Maynilad and its officers the crime of coruption of
public officers, the first element of libel is satisfied, namely the
existence of a defamatory statement.
The second element of libel, that the imputation must be made
publicly, is also present because of the publication of the delamatory
statements in the Manila Times. The Manila Times ls a newspaper of
general circulation in the Republic of the Philippirres. Iurthermore,
under the law, libel may be committed by meals of writing, printing,
or any sirnilar mealss
14. The third element of 1ibe1, that requires the presence of malice, is also
present. Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious,
even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for
making it is shown6. This is known as malice in law, which is
presumed with every defamatory imPutation, especlally when the
acts imputed are not true.
15. According to the Supreme Court, "\Vhat carnot be accepted are
jourrralists
making no efforts to verify the ilformation given by a
source, and using that unveri{ied lnformation to throw wild
accusations and besmirch the name of possibly an imocent
Person.
Joumalists
have a responsibllity to report the truth, and in doirg so
iArt.
355. Libel means by wrilings or similar means. A libel conmitted by nreans ofrriting. printing.
lifiogaphy. engraving. radio, phonogaph. prinling, theatrical exhibition. cinematog.aphic exhibition. or anv similar
must at least invesfigate their stories before publication, and be able
to back up their stories with proof.
Joumalists
are not storytellers or
novelists who may just spin tales out of fevered imaginings, and pass
them off as reality. There must be some {oundation to their reports;
these reports must be warralted by facts"7.
L6. Respondents can-not excuse their criminal action on the pretext that
the News Article was a matter of public interest. It must be
emphasized that mere imputations, without proof, coming as it did
from a shadowy source, should have alerted the journalists
to further
veri4/ the " facts" as purveyed by
Javellana.
Good faith is clearly
lacking on the part of the other Respondents as they failed to
substantiate or even attempt to verify
Javellana's
fictional story
before pubLication. The fact that these defamatory statements are
unsupported by any proof clearly reveal that these were specifically
crafted and maliciously engineered to cause damage to the good
name and reputation of Maynilad.
17. The fourth element of libel, that the offended party be identified, is
present. Both Mayrllad and I are expressly mentioned and positively
identified in the article. Arry person reading the article can readily
identifu Maynilad as the object of the libelous publication.
18. Lastly, the fifth arrd final element of libel, that the imputation must
tend to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of the person
defamed, is present. Dishonor has been de{ined as disgrace, shame,
or ignomjny. Discredit has been defined as loss of credit or
reputation, or disesteem. Contempt has been defined as a state of
being despised.
1.9. It is clear that the statements would
believe that Maynilad, through its
govemment officials in the MWSS to
also clear that the statements suggest the inducement was through
bribes, such that Maynilad a11eged1y bribed MWSS officials by takhg
care of their hotel tab and providing them with shopping money irr
Hong Kong. Even the final statement in the article, where
Javellana
states that the bribes were being passed on to consumers in their
monthly bil1, is tartamount to an assertion that Maynilad is wittingly
and willingly de{rauding the general public and that Maynilad is in
breach oF it,. conrrdctudl obligations [o lhe Covernment.
20. The statements published in the article have a great tendency to
damage Ma1,r'Li1ad's reputation in the eyes of the consuming public.
Furthermore, Maynilad is now exposed to unwarranted contempt
because of said false and malicious statements.
21,. The elements of the crime of libel being present, the law punishes the
publisher of the defamatory statement, as well as the author, editor,
and business manager of the newspaper8. The Court has ruled that
"The printer of a publication containing libelous matter ls liable for
the same by reason of his dinect corlection therewith and his
cognizance of the contents thereof. With regard to a publication il
which a 1ibel is printed, not only is the publisher but also all other
'ert.:60.
tersons responsible.
-
Any person who shall publish. exlibit. or cause ti1e prblicaiion or exlibition of
any defamarion in wliting or by similar medns. shall be responsible for the same.
naturally lead the reader to
officers, induced Philippine
act favorably towards it. It is
persons who in any way participate in or have any connection with
its publication are liab1e as publishers"e.
22. The Court went on to say that, "Arr editor or manager of a
newspaper, who has active charge and control of its management,
conduct, and policy, generally is held to be equally llable with the
owrrer for the publication therein of a libelous article. On the theory
that it is the duty of the editor or manager to know and control the
contents of the paper, it is held that said person cannot evade
responsibility by abandoning the duties to employees, so that it is
imrnaterial whether or not the editor or manager knew the contents
of the publication
10".
As such, the respondents must be held liable
for the crime charged.
23. Accordingly, I have caused the preparation and the filing of this
Complaint-Affidavit to attest to the truth of the foregoing matters
and in order to institute one count of libel against all of the
Respondents for violation of Art. 355 (Libel by means of roritings or
similar means), in relation to Art. 353 (Det'inition of Libel) and Art.360
(Persons responsible), of the RPC.
VERIFICATION AND CERTIFICATION
OF NON-FORUM SHOPPING
I, Randolph T. Estrellado, Filipino, o{ legal age, with residence
address at Unit 14 H, Shang Grand Tower, Perea St., Legaspi Village,
Makati City, after having been duly sworn in accordarce with the law, do
hereby depose arrd state:
3.
I am the duly authorized representative of Maynilad;
I caused the preparatlon of the foregoing Complaint for Libel, for ald
in behalf of the aforesaid corporation;
I have read the Complailt and that the facts mentioned therein are
true and correct based on my personal knowledge ald authentic
records;
4. Ma;milad has not commenced any action or proceeding involving the
same issues in any other tribunal or agency, and that to the best of
my knowledge, no such action or proceeding is pending ilr any other
tribunal or agency. However, I have filed il my personal capacity as
an aggrieved party, a libel case against the same resPondents in the
City of Makatl;
I undertake to promptly inform this Court within {ive (5) days from
learning that a similar action or proceeding has been filed or is pending
before any other tribunal or agency.
TO THE TRUTH OF THE FOREGOING, I have signed this Complaint-
Affidavit on 13th day of May 2014.
1.
2.
t/)
RandolphIT. Estrellado
Complainant-Affiant
SUBSCRIBED AND SWORN to before me this 13th day of May 2014 at
Quezon
City.
.aRlBEo
AND swoRN Io belo me thls-day
_20 al ou62on cily,
phih.,
.:;aBv
CERTIFY thar I hav pBMnally eemined
Prosecutot
CERTIFICATION
I HEREBY CERTIFY THAT I HAVE PERSONALLY EXAMINED THE
AFFIANT AND I AM SATISFIED THAT HE VOLUNTARILY EXECUTED
AND I]NDERSTOOD HIS AI'FIDAVIT.
Prosecutor
AI\NEX'A
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPJNES
)
I\,4AKATI CITY, IV]ETRO IUANILA
)S,S,
SECRETARY'S CERTIFICATE
l, ALEX ERLITO S. FIDER, of legal age, Filiplno, and with offtce address at the Penthouse,
Liberty Center, 104 H.V. Dela Costa Streel, Salcedo Village, l\.4akati City, being duly sworn in
accordance with law, hereby cerUfy thatl
'1.
I am the duly appointed and incumbent Corporate Secretary of MAYNILAD WATER
SERVICES, lNC. (the "Corporation"),
a corporation duly organized and existing under and by virtue
of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, with principal offjce address at N,,jaynilad, Ground
Floor, Engineering Building MWSS Compound, KaUpunan Road, Batara, euezon City;
2. At the duly constituted meeting of the Board of Direclors of the Corporation held on
24 Febtuary 2014, during which a quorum was present
and acting throughout, the following
resoluUons were passed and approved by the Board of Directors:
"RESOLVED, AS lT lS HEREBY RESOLVED, that the Board of Directors of
the Corporation authorize, approve, and ratify as it hereby authorizes, approves, and
ratifies, the filing/institution of the appropriate actions, whether civil, criminal, or
administrative, against The Manila Times
pubiishing
Corporation, Mr. Rodolfo B.
Javellana, Jr., l\,4r. Jing Villamente, I\,,1r. Dante Francis N4. Ang, N,4r. Rene e. Bas, and
l\,4s. Beting Laygo Dolor, to enforce, protect or defend the rights of the Corporation,
and to negotiate and settle any case or claim that the Corporation may flle or have
against The Manila Times Publishing Corporation, l\.4r. Rodolfo B. Javellana, Jr., 1\.4r.
Jing Villamente, Mr. Dante Francis N,4. Ang, [,4r. Rene e. Bas and/or Ms. Beting
Laygo Dolor, or any case or claim that any of them may file against the Corporation
or its officers in connecUon therewithi
"RESOLVED, FURTHER, that the Corporation authorizes, as it hereby
authorizes, [Ir. Randolph T. Estreilado, the Corporation's Chief Finance Officer, with
authorlly to appear and represent the Corporation in any civil, criminal, or
administrative case that the Corporatior may file/institirte against, or that may arise
against the Corporation in relation to the claims of, The Manila Times
publishing
Corporation, Mr. Rodolfo B. Javellana, Jr., IMt. Jing Vlllamente, l\,4r Dante Francis M.
Ang, Mr. Rene Q. Bas, and/or Ms. BeUng Laygo Dolor, with full power, as ample and
broad as may be necessary under Philippine Law, to do and perform on behalf of ihe
Corporation, any act and deed relating to the case, which the Corporation could
legally do and perform,
including any appeals or fudher legal proceedlngs, and the
power
to do the followinq:
(a) Execute a verification and cedificate of nonjorum shopping in
accordance with the form required under Philippine Supreme Coud
Circulars and the Rules of Coud;
(b)
Enter into an amicable settlement or a submission to arbitraUon and
to agree to the same, including the execution oi any compromise
agreemeat or submission to arbitration;
(Lr
Subrrrt to alteraalive modes of d:spJte resolulon includ,nq a referral
(d) Enter into stipulations or admissions of facts and of documents for
purposes of pre-trial and/or trlal; and
(e) Other n]atters as may aid in the prompt disposition of the acl on;
"RESOLVED, FINALLY, that the Corporation authorizes l\4r' Randolph T'
Estrellado to negotiate any settlernent with the relevant entities and/or persons' to
execute and sig;, in the name of the Corporation, lhe necessary
papers, pleadings
and/or docume;ts, including special
powers of attorney to deliver such
papers'
pleadings and/or documents as may be required or necessary for the said
purpose'
and to
-do
and perform all such other acts and things as sald Mr' Randolph T'
Estrellado may dee. necess"ry, appropriate, and convenient in order to effect the
foregoing resolutions."
3. The folegoing resolutions are in accordance with the records of the Corporation
presently in my custodyZndlas of this date, have not been amended nor rescinded and are still in
force and effecl.
lN WITNESS WHEREOF. I have hereunto affixed my signature and seal this
at Makati City, Metro [,4anila, Philippines.
lE----..-=-
--"'
ALEX ERLITO S, FIDER
Corporate Secretary
sUaSCR/aED AND sl'voRN io before me in the Citv ot n'1"[,ti1''tflis
;
aay
Alex Erlito S. Frder personally known to me, who is the same
person who personaly
the foregoing ceriificale and who acknowledged that he executed the same
oo". No
ii
Pase NoZ?
Book No 1
senes of 2ft+
of lrarch 2014 by
s gned before rne
r...,
Maynilad
11 Dec 2Al3
Seclon Front Page
Lan9uage Englislr
Da ly
ITNIPIROMA]
Maynilad
mercet Inrernaiional Coun of
Albnsiion aftr the gov{Dnenr
turned down irs application to
Nlayrilad had propoPd t692
billion in dpe.dnures irom 2013
ro 2037 an amolnr th.1 wonli
have tanslatd 10 an inoease oi
'[n ifthe b(raiion will lasl
for six io a marimum ol 12
monrhs. w shonld fill he ahle
ro do what we need to do nn
vear, bur it willbe difi&h for us
lo si8n nry loans lor 2015 2016
proicts brause thse are lons-
term faciliries,' Es1lellado said.
Belore yeaiend oi early in
201a, Marnilad will siBn a P6.
billion loan with the l)evelop.
ment Bank of the Philippincs
aDd lhe Japan lnrernational Co
ope rar io n ,Asency (llCA) for a
sesclase proiec! he said
"l1CA wanrs lo see how we
move forwaid we're
Seiring
ooney ftom the World Eank
also.Theyte flaning to se lrow
rh arbitralion pro.ess goes,"
Last year, the World Bank
liaynilad and irs Easl Zone
counteryalr Manila lvaler Co
Inc. forlhe Nlerro Manila Wsre
kaler Managemenl Projecl,
whi.h involvs the co nslrudion
ol swage kea1menr plants and
journalists
ANI\LX' D
Headlie l,1ayn lad treats IIWSS execs
lournalsts
to a Horg Koig t p
VadiaTrrp M.l
"
-,rFs
treats MWSS
execs,
million campaign contriburion
hal lresidrnl Noy roor8 20lo?'
He said that while in HonB
Kong Malmilad picld up tie ho
tel lab olMwts Rcgulalory om.ials
and gare nhem shoppinS mon+
'Kots|da ldhdt
wn
sa otinr
aga monihly bills. crsroi lalal
ilo ng n.ga water.onsumds,"
IIe said Eslrellado lold rpon
els who lrere flown 10 Hong(ong
of the watr urilny's proiects
wodh P18 billion ndtyearbded
on a bxsinss plan submltted to
the MWSS.
'W. ve taken apositio. rhal ilt
businss asusual untilve redone
with arbilralion," lavellafla
quotd Maynilad Prsident
Vidori.o var$s as salrg
ln October, May.ilad filed a
noiice of dispute before rhe In-
ternational Chamber of Com.
Color Fu Coor
Circulation 187,446
Reade6h p 187,446
Ar-trcles ze 226 c.rll
Advalle PHP 43,395
PR Value PHP 130,185
Maynilad treats MWSS exers,journalists to a Honq Xong trip
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