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Libel Case

May 6, 2011 · 

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Republic of the Philippines
City of Davao SS

AFFIDAVIT -COMPLAINT

I, BENJAMIN C. de GUZMAN, of legal age, married, resident of Davao City, Philippines, after having been sworn to in accordance with law, do hereby depose and say:

1. That I am a public officer, being the City Mayor of the City of Davao and holding office at the City Hall, Davao City, Philippines;

2. That I am instituting this CRIMINAL COMPLAINT against one Fr. Shay Cullen, Founder and President of Peoples Recovery, Empowerment and Development Assistance Foundation, Inc. (PREDA for short), with business address located at Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines, for LIBEL as defined and penalized under Article 353 in relation to Article 355 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, in conspiracy with the Child Advocacy Team of PREDA consisting of several persons whose identities at present are known but shall be referred to in this complaint as John Does and Jane Does whose address is at c/o PREDA Foundation, Inc., Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Philippines;

3. That the acts complained of were committed as follows:

a. That sometime on September 8, 1999, Fr. Shay Cullen, in conspiracy with the other respondents, without regard for truth, propriety and fairness, caused the writing and publication of a scurillous, injurious, defamatory, and libelous letter (see copy attached as Annex “A” hereof) with the intention of attacking my virtue as a person, and to do ulterior and unjustifiable harm towards my profession as a law, er and public official and for the further purpose of exposing my person to public ridicule, contempt and hatred in the Philippines and worldwide, as follows:

“The cold blooded murder of street children Royroy and Mamay in public on Illustre St., near the Galaxy theater as reported in TODAY the newspaper, August 8, 1999, page 4 and the eye witness reports of many children and the research of social workers and the commisssion on human rights together presents credible evidence that “Death Squads” are loose in Davao City murdering and harassing street children allegedly with the tacit approval of your administration.

During a Meeting of social workers and street children with your city administrator in your office on 19 July this year, the child who is a witness to this murder of Royrory and Mamay by men on black motorcycles, clearly recognized one of the killer gunmen in City Hall.

This shooting and harassment of street children must stop. It is a direct violation of Philippine law, International law, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. As city mayor, you will be held responsible before the International Community for these atrocities against children.

It is for this very reason that in my keynote speech before the World Forum on Children’s Rights this September 5″ I am calling for the establishment of an International Court of Children’s Rights.

Like the officials who allow, order, or approve, by act or omission, the violation of human rights, are brought to trial at the International Court of Human Rights in the Hague, Netherlands, likewise higher leaders and civil authorities who cause, allow, or approve, the execution of impoverished street children by hit squads must be brought to trial.

I am appealing to the International Community and the Presidential Committee for the Protection of Children, for direct action to stop these murders since you are unable to do so. I will appeal to the world community of child advocates to demand the killers to be brought to trial.

They are known and have been identified, it is your duty to bring them to justice for the murder of the children. Denial and claims of ignorance about these murders have no credibility. The evidence is clear, children are being murdered on the streets by an organized squad of motorcycle riding gunmen.

If this is a method of curbing crime in your city, then it is the most cowardly and dastardly action heard of. Picking on malnourished, abandoned, vulnerable and defenseless street children, is the worst of crimes.” (italics and emphasis supplied)

b. That the foregoing letter is neither privileged nor a fair and true report made in good faith and, if construed in the plain and ordinary sense in which the public would understand is defamatory, not only as to the words and expressions used, but also with respect to the whole scope and apparent object or motive of respondents — in that I, as Mayor of Davao City, harbor vigilantes out to murder street children and that the killing of malnourished, abandoned, vulnerable, defenseless street children by organized crime of motorcycle riding gunmen is a daily occurrence in Davao City under my administration;

c. That the foregoing letter was caused to be known, published and circulated by Fr. Cullen on separate occasions beginning September 8, 1999 in conspiracy with said John Does and Jane Does of the Child Advocacy Team of PREDA to the public at-large, in the Philippines and other countries worldwide, through mail and the internet website of PREDA Foundation, Inc. at http://www.preda.org/ (printouts of the pertinent web pages of which are hereto attached as Annexes “B” to “B-2”), and clearly prompted not by a sense of moral duty but by personal ill-will, spite and/or malice with the object of destroying my reputation and discrediting and ridiculing me as a public official before the bar of public opinion and contempt;

d. The ill-effects of the malicious publications are shown by the negative responses (see Annexes “C” up to “BB”), that I have-received from people all over the world, expressing belief in respondents’ baseless allegations as shameful, heinous and unequivocally barbaric – all to my damage and prejudice. The same has been confirmed by Fr. Cullen in his letter to me dated September 23, 1999, a copy of which is hereto attached as Annex “CC” referring to the reactions of the public to the malicious amputations against me as “shameful”, “heinous” and “unequivocally barbaric “;

4. That by reason of the foregoing, I suffered sleepless nights, wounded feelings, moral and social embarrassment which Fr. Shay Cullen and his conspirators should compensate by way of damages which is the natural, proximate and necessary result of the malicious publication in the amount of not less than FIFTY MILLION PESOS (PhP 50,000,000.00) which shall be donated for various programs for the welfare of the children of Davao City;

5. That I am executing this affidavit to attest to the truth of the foregoing averments and for the purpose of criminally prosecuting said Fr. Shay Cullen and the other respondents in as many counts for LIBEL as there are many publications as determined by the City Prosecution Office in the preliminary investigation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto affixed my signature this day of October, 1999 at Davao City, Philippines.

BENJAMIN C. de GUZMAN
Affiant

JURAT and CERTIFICATION

SUBSCRIBED and SWORN to before me this this 27 day of October, 1999 at Davao City, Philippines. I hereby certify that I have personally examined the affiant and that I am satisfied that he read and understood the contents of his affidavit-complaint and that he voluntarily executed the same.

CALIXTO A. ESPARAGOZA
City Prosecutor

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