Civil Law dean sues Castillo family lawyer for libel

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UST FACULTY of Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina has filed a libel complaint against lawyer Lorna Kapunan, for allegedly linking him to the death of hazing victim Horacio Castillo III as well as the corruption allegations involving the chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Divina wants Kapunan to pay P120 million in damages for maligning his reputation with the “defamatory” statements she made in media interviews.

“Due to the malicious public imputations made by respondent, I suffered and continue to suffer irreparable damage to my reputation, honor and good standing in the academe, legal and business community, as well as in the eyes of the general public,” Divina said in his complaint-affidavit, referring to Kapunan.

Kapunan is the legal counsel of Castillo’s parents and Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista’s estranged wife Patricia.

Kapunan earlier told the Varsitarian that criminal complaints would be filed against Divina and other University officials in addition to the cases against members of the Aegis Juris Fraternity in connection with Castillo’s hazing death.

READCastillo lawyer wants Divina, other UST officials charged over frat hazing

The 22-year-old Castillo died on Sept. 17 after going through hazing rites of Aegis Juris, a UST law fraternity, which counts Divina as one of its prominent alumni.

Divina also filed complaints for libel and violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 against Kapunan and Patricia, who had filed a disbarment case against the UST law dean.
“We are fighting back and fighting for what’s right. She has been viciously and maliciously attacking me, my firm and our lawyers using the most absurd fabricated allegations,” Divina said in a statement, referring to Kapunan.

Patricia filed the disbarment case against Divina and 20 members of his firm DivinaLaw, for violating the Code of Professional Responsibility, before the Supreme Court on Sept. 26.

READDivina dismisses disbarment raps

In August, Patricia went public on her dispute with her husband and claimed that the elections chief received illegal commissions from DivinaLaw.

Patricia wants her share of her husband’s assets, after separating those that she claims were ill-gotten. She accused her husband of hiding nearly P1 billion in assets.

Divina said damages won from his suits would be donated to “further all efforts to eradicate hazing in the country.”


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