SC: Saying 'false prophets', 'apostle of demons' = defamation

Citing jurisprudence, the SC quoted: “Plain and simple insults directed at another person cannot be elevated to the status of religious speech."

The Supreme Court’s First Division affirmed the libel conviction against Ang Dating Daan leader Eliseo “Brother Eli” Soriano over his remarks against another religious leader in his radio show in 1998. In an 11-page decision released last week, the SC division upheld the Court of Appeals' May 2016 ruling that affirmed a trial court’s conviction of Soriano.

The case was filed by televangelist and Jesus Miracle Crusade International Ministry head Wilde Almeda over Soriano’s remark against him in his radio program “Ang Dating Daan.” Soriano called Almeda a “false prophet,” “idiot” and “apostle of demons” in his radio program. The Iriga City Regional Trial Court, in 2012, convicted Soriano of libel. The Court of Appeals in 2015 also affirmed the ruling.

SOURCE: SC upholds libel conviction of Bro. Eli Soriano. Kristine Joy Patag ( December 26, 2018 - 5:13pm.

UNDER THE REVISED PENAL CODE: Article 353. Definition of libel. - A libel is public and malicious imputation of a crime, or of a vice or defect, real or imaginary, or any act, omission, condition, status, or circumstance tending to cause the dishonor, discredit, or contempt of a natural or juridical person, or to blacken the memory of one who is dead.

Article 354. Requirement for publicity. - Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown, except in the following cases:

1. A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty; and

2. A fair and true report, made in good faith, without any comments or remarks, of any judicial, legislative or other official proceedings which are not of confidential nature, or of any statement, report or speech delivered in said proceedings, or of any other act performed by public officers in the exercise of their functions.

This video below was uploaded in 2014. SOURCE: Bro. Eli Soriano, pinawalang sala ng korte sa kasong libel (MAY092014). UNTV Web. Published on May 9, 2014.