The Quezon City Prosecutors Office has recommended the filing of libel case against Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez over his accusation against Davao del Norte 2nd Dist. Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr. of being a “land grabber”.
In a March 21, 2018 press conference, Alvarez stated before the media, “Hindi Floirendo apelyido ko para maging landgrabber.” Alvarez’s statement stemmed from the report that the then House Speaker bought P500 million worth of properties in Siargao Island.
Alvarez accused Floirendo as being behind the release of the Siargao properties story.
The defamatory remarks were carried in both print, TV and online media, that the QC prosecutor notes, “facts which (Alvarez) has no capacity to know, and he and his family are landgrabbers, is part of (Alvarez’s) deliberate effort to injure (Floirendo’s) reputation and character in the opinion of the people.
Alvarez’s words, “Hindi Floirendo apelyido ko para maging landgrabber” wrongfully imputes a crime, vice, or defect against Floirendo and his family and accused them as land grabbers, the prosecutor added in an April 11, 2019 resolution.
Floirendo said Alvarez attacks not just his reputation but also that of his father, Antonio O. Floirendo, Sr. and the rest of his family– and his father who has passed way is now unable to personally address and confront the allegations made against him by Alvarez.
Alvarez who once threatened to dissolve regional trial courts (RTCs) over a ruling that displeased him, maintained that he was only giving comments based on his personal knowledge on facts known to be true.
But the prosecutor stated in its decision that “given the acrimonious relationship of the parties (Alvarez and Floirendo), the motives of (Alvarez) in making such statements and that he has no actual malice in when he made the defamatory statement is highly suspect”.
In its April 26, 2019 resolution, Assistant City prosecutor Marizen Grutas recommended “that an information for Libel under Article 353 and 355 of the Revised Penal Code be filed against Pantaleon D. Alvarez.”
The recommendation was approved by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Dindo Venturanza.