The Caloocan City Regional Trial Court Branch 126 has junked a civil complaint filed by a certain Ronald Virola against GMA Network and one of its anchors, Mike Enriquez, over two episodes aired on “Imbestigador” nine years ago.
Virola’s complaint—in which he claimed that “Imbestigadors”’s broadcast of a raid in his Caloocan abode in its Dec. 14 and 28, 2002 episodes, was malicious and had caused him severe humiliation and anxiety—has no merit, according to presiding judge Lorenza Bordios in a 26-page decision dated Nov. 10, 2011, GMA News Online reported on Dec. 29.
“The plaintiff failed to prove by preponderance of evidence that defendants (GMA Network and Mike Enriquez) made the audio-video publication of the questioned portions of Imbestigador with malice,” a part of the court’s decision read in the same report.
The court likewise did not grant the P1.2 million worth in damages that Virola had sought from the Kapuso network, maintaining that the episodes had fair commentary on issues that are of public interest. The court likewise acknowledged Enriquez’s duty as journalist to impart relevant information and caution the public on how drugs and modern technology can be used in committing crimes. Thus, neither Enriquez nor his network can be held liable for defamatory imputation or libel, GMA News Online reported.
In the episodes in question, the police found illegal drugs in Virola’s abode, as well as obscene videos of women believed to have been high on drugs and were having an intercourse with Virola. The police raid was executed based on a search warrant, added the report.
Virola accused Enriquez of falsely imputing upon him “crimes of rape and obscene publication,” stated GMA News Online. However, the Caloocan RTC said that Enriquez’s reports were based on affidavits submitted by witnesses.
Credits: Manila Bulitin