July 15, 8:30 p.m. – THE MAKATI City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the libel complaint filed against two Varsitarian staff members by the head of the private firm that operates the UST carpark.

In a resolution dated July 5, assistant city prosecutor Edmund Seña cleared former Varsitarian editor in chief Cliff Harvey Venzon and associate editor Rommel Marvin Rio, as there was “lack of probable cause” to charge them in court for libel.

“This Office could not find malice on the part of respondents in so far as the subject news article is concerned,” the decision said.

Last February 16, Selegna Holdings Corp. president and chief executive officer Eduardo Angeles filed a three-page complaint claiming that the Varsitarian’s January 26 article “UST sues carpark operator, tenants” was “patently libelous and written in the guise of news reporting.”

In the story, Rio reported that UST had sued Selegna Holdings, as well as more than 20 carpark tenants, for violating the build-operate-transfer contract for the carpark building as well as contracts of lease.

However, the resolution said the “report appears to be factual.” Venzon and Rio “were merely reporting on the complaint filed by UST against Selegna, et.al.,” the resolution said.

“It appears that the news article [that is] subject matter of the case was a fair and true report of the complaint filed by UST against Selegna, et.al.,” the decision said, adding that the story was written “in good faith.”

UST sued Selegna Holdings and its tenants last December, claiming the carpark firm gave sister companies and children of the owner cheaper rent than other tenants, and sublet the spaces at higher rates. Charmaine M. Parado


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