TACLOBAN CITY-Calbayog City Mayor Ronaldo Aquino is facing libel charges filed against him by Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan and her brother, Vice Gov. Stephen James Tan allegedly for imputing that they using their influence to intervene police investigations.
In separate complaint-affidavits that the two highest officials of the province, the Tan siblings accuses the Calbayog city mayor for maligning their “reputations and good names as public servants.”
The complaints on libel filed against Aquino, who chairs the Regional Peace and Order Council, were filed before the City Prosecutors Office in Calbayog last August 7.
Mayor Aquino could not be reached for his reactions but it was learned that he has yet to receive a copy of the separate complaints and thus, does not like to issue any comment.
A source said that he would just answer the libel charges at the proper venue.
The alleged libelous statements committed by Aquino took place last June 1 wherein he was said to have uttered that Vice Gov. Tan called up the provincial police headquarters to complaining that the “houses of his people were being raided.”
“This means, that their people are armed,” the charge said, quoting the alleged libelous statement of Aquino.
Gov. Tan, for her part, also slapped Aquino with her own libel charge, on the same occasion, the latter claimed that she also intervened in police works by taking into her custody of a woman who is under police investigation.
The Tan siblings, on their separate charge sheets, claimed that the utterances made by Aquino put them in bad light and gave an impression that they are using their influence to protect their own interests.
“It must be noted that the said speech was witnessed and hear by many people because it was delivered during a flag raising ceremony. Hence, my reputation and good name as a public servant and governor of the province of Samar was tarnished by respondent’s slanderous accusation that I am duly interfering and/or influencing investigations of the police,” Gov. Tan said in her complaint-affidavit.
The utterances of Mayor Aquino fall within the definition of libel under Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code, the Tan siblings claimed.
Vice Gov. Tan said that the allegation of Aquino was “too much” for them to just it pass.
“We filed the libel case because as public servant, its not good to hear such accusation against me.I vehemently denies his claim. I have to protect my good name,” he said.
He also denies that the family maintains any private armed group.
Both officials said that they also intend to file separate civil charge for damages against Aquino.