By Justin K. Vestil
Friday, February 4, 2011
AN Iglesia ni Kristo minister will spend two months and a day in jail after the court convicted him of serious disturbance for punching a lawyer.
This happened during a hearing on a libel case he filed against three reporters in 2000.
In her decision issued last Oct. 21, Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Judge Monalisa Tecson convicted INC minister Rizalino Ocampo for violating Article 153 of the Revised Penal Code after he was accused of punching lawyer Marcelo Bacalso in April 2000.
Ocampo, who is expected to serve a jail sentence of two months and a day and to pay a fine of P1,000, is appealing his case before the Regional Trial Court (RTC). His case is scheduled for regular raffling.
Bacalso, who served as legal counsel of DyMF Bombo Radyo, accused Ocampo of allegedly punching him during a clarificatory hearing on the libel complaint the INC minister filed against his clients.
Ocampo filed a libel case against then Bombo Radyo reporters Gerardo “Gerry” Auxilio and Ruphil Bañoc. Bombo Radyo station manager Greman “Jojo” Solante was also included in the complaint.
Bacalso alleged that while he and his clients were attending the hearing, Ocampo suddenly punched him in the back. The attack was made in front of Cebu Provincial prosecutors Federico Pansoy, Vicente Mañalac and Anatalio Necessario.
Ocampo’s attack against Bacalso led to a commotion between the three reporters and more than 100 supporters of the INC who were waiting outside the hearing area.
Bacalso alleged that Ocampo attacked him when he raised to the panel a Supreme Court decision on a libel case filed by the INC against Rosita Trillanes in the 1940s.
The decision had cleared Trillanes of making allegations that one of INC’s founders, Felix Manalo, raped her. The INC filed a libel case against her because she made the allegations without filing a rape complaint against their founder.
Bacalso presented the SC decision as part of documentary evidence for their case.
In her decision, Tecson convicted Ocampo as he was identified not just by Bacalso but by three witness who saw the INC minister hit the lawyer.
Tecson said the main point is that through his act, Ocampo incited the commotion between INC and the
complainants during the hearing.
“Whether it was by hitting or simply tapping on the back of Atty. Bacalso by the accused, the fact remains, this particular act of hitting or tapping caused the commotion inside the room where the clarificatory hearing was conducted,” she added.
Auxilio and Bañoc have since left Bombo Radyo, 11 years since they were charged with libel. Auxilio is now working for Radio DySS as a commentator, while Bañoc, now a lawyer, is the station manager of Radio DyHP.
Solante has since retired from broadcasting and is serving a second term as barangay captain of Villahermosa in Tudela, Camotes. He is also the Association of Barangay Councils president of Tudela town.
The INC minister accused the three broadcasters of issuing derogatory and libelous remarks against him over a radio program of Bombo Radyo.