Benguet RTC drops cyberlibel cases vs journalists

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The Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Benguet has dismissed a cyberlibel case filed by a retired police general against two staff members of an online alternative news site.

Cyberlibel charges were dropped afainst Northern Dispatch editor Kimberlie Ngabit and her reporter Khim Abalos after the RTC found insufficient evidence against the two journalists.

Former Cordillera police director Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan flagged their story which alleged his directive to shoot “communist organizers” who organized people during the Luzon-wide lockdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He added that he was put under bad light by allegedly “deliberately omitting” a part of his statement, which was premised only on the probability that a communist organizer would retaliate violently against a police officer.

But in an April 22 decision released on Monday, RTC Judge Jennifer Humiding of Branch 63 in La Trinidad, Benguet, junked the case after the prosecution “failed to prove the existence of all the elements of libel.”

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