FORMER UST Faculty Union (USTFU) president Gil Gamilla has filed another set of libel cases, this time against the union’s internal vice president and two others, citing “malicious imputations” over alleged anomalies involving USTFU funds.

In his complaint before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office dated Oct. 2, Gamilla said Rene Tadle, and USTFU employees Samantha Lei Bernal and Allison Pasicolan made statements against him in a joint counter-affidavit that involved a different case— an earlier complaint for slander filed by former UST executive vice-president Gil Garcia. Garcia’s complaint has since been withdrawn for lack of witnesses.

“[D]ue to his above-mentioned malicious imputations, which are irrelevant to respondent Tadle’s defense against the charge of Slander by Mr. [Gil] Garcia, I am suing him for four (4) counts of libel,” Gamilla said in his complaint-affidavit.

“Hence, for Mr. Tadle to repeat those allegations in his counter-affidavit is nothing else but intentional and malicious because these allegations are not related at all to his defense of prescription, relating to the charge against him for slander by Mr. Garcia,” Gamilla said.

“His wayward remarks had the tendency to influence the judgment of the Investigating Officer that Mr. Garcia and I, his witness, are of doubtful criminal character, who should not be given credence at all,” added Gamilla, who resigned from USTFU presidency in 2011.

But Tadle said they cannot stop them from filing cases against them.

“[W]e have roles to play—duties and responsibilities that we have to perform in the best way we can,” he said. “I just have to pursue the course of action I deemed necessary to protect the interest of USTFU including the recovery of the 9.5 million.”

Much ado about transparency

Tadle, he said, remained unwavering in his accusations that there were anomalous transactions involving P9.5 million allegedly released to a company for a condominium project. “[H]is insinuations and imputations are not only unfounded but false because the evidence shows it was actually a placement,” said the complaint-affidavit, obtained by the Varsitarian.

Tadle added that since the P9.5 million controversy has affected many people and has “eroded the trust and confidence” that the members have bestowed on the Union, this could be a “learning opportunity for more accountability, responsibility, and vigilance on the part of officers and union members.”

“This is an opportunity to reform and improve the system. A wake-up call for everyone, that for a leadership to be dynamic and responsive, we need a more engaged and critical membership,” he said. “That is why we are pursuing this, to make sure that the same will not happen again.”

Earlier this year, Gamilla filed a libel case against the union’s vice president for legal affairs due to supposed “libelous” statements on the questionable disbursement of union funds.

In 2009, USTFU officials signed an agreement with Saturn Resources, Inc. which involved an investment with Wise Capital Investment and Trust Company (WiseCitco).

WiseCitco was supposed to lend money to Saturn Resources to construct a condominium building for the faculty, but this did not push.

In January 2010, a faction of faculty members called the “Fidelity Group” accused Gamilla of “impropriety” for the alleged illegal release of union funds to property developer Saturn Resources, without permission from the members of the union. This prompted the formation of the Committee of Peers to investigate the issue.

Presidential bets put Vice Ganda to shame

Gamilla has a separate case against the Fidelity Group for releasing to the public reports or documents about the alleged illegal disbursement of union funds.

The Varsitarian sought comments from Gamilla but he has yet to respond. Bernadette D. Nicolas


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