What is libel?

Article 353 of the Revised Penal Code defines libel as a 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.

According to MVRS Publication Inc. v. Islamic Da'wah Council of the Philippines, Inc., libel, as a form of defamation, is an offense of injuring a person's character, fame or reputation through false and malicious statements; it is that which tends to injure reputation or to diminish the esteem, respect, goodwill or confidence in the offended party, or to excite derogatory feelings or opinions about the offended party; it is the publication of anything injurious to the good name or reputation of another or tends to bring him into disrepute. Defamation is an invasion of a relational interest because it involves the opinion that others in the community may have, or tend to have, of the offended party. (G.R. No. 170721. August 23, 2017)