THE QUEZON City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the libel complaint filed by UST Faculty Union president Gil Gamilla against nine former union officials who distributed documents alleging financial irregularities.

In a resolution last March 21, the assistant city prosecutor Mary Jean T. Cajandab cleared former union vice president for grievance Jose Ngo, former vice president for legal affairs Mark Maramba, former vice president external Irma Potenciano, former secretary-general Ma. Lourdes Medina, former sergeant-at-arms Celso Nierra, and former directors Dante Jose Mercado, Elizabeth Arenas, Juanita Subaldo, and Emerito Gonzales, citing “lack of probable cause.”

Last August, Gamilla filed the case against the nine officers, collectively called the “Fidelity Group,” after the latter distributed flyers, reports, and documents showing Gamilla’s “illegal” disbursement of union funds to a property developer in 2006.

The prosecutor said the Fidelity Group “merely acted out of [its] sense of duty and that evidences (sic) provided by Gamilla’s part were not enough to prove the existence of malice,” which is an important element in a libel case.

“The resolution speaks for itself, it was never our intention to malign him,” said Ngo in an interview.

The Varsitarian sought Gamilla’s comment, but he declined to be interviewed.

Gamilla, in his affidavit, claimed the group discredited him to advance a political agenda in the union elections last February 2010, where Gamilla won his third term as union president.

However, the resolution stated that Gamilla’s assertion “deserves a scant consideration” for none of the respondents even ran for re-election.

Ngo said his group has consulted a lawyer for possible criminal cases that could be filed against Gamilla and former union vice president Gil Garcia.

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In a text message to the Varsitarian, Garcia refused to comment on the issue, saying: “My lawyer says the matter is sub judice, and that I should respect the rule of law and refrain from discussing the matter.”

In January 2010, the Fidelity Group accused Gamilla and Garcia of allowing P9.5-million worth of “illegal” disbursements to property developer Saturn Resources Inc., prompting Gamilla to file a libel suit.

Gamilla, in turn, filed a bad check complaint before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office against Mario Villamor of Saturn Resources, Inc. in February 17 of the previous year.



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