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Lawyer Kapunan indicted for slander charge

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THE DEPARTMENT of Justice (DoJ), in two separate resolutions, indicted lawyer Lorna P. Kapunan for slander based on the complaints filed by University of Santo Tomas Law Dean Nilo T. Divina. The case stems from Mr. Kapunan’s alleged remarks against Mr. Divina in connection with the death of law student Horacio “Atio” Castillo III due to hazing in Aug. 2017 and the disbarment case against him and other lawyers. Mr. Divina originally filed a libel case and three counts of violation of Republic Act No. 10175 (Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012) against Ms. Kapunan for a television interview, wherein she alleged that the dean recruited the slain freshman law student to the fraternity and that he accommodated the fraternity members on the evening the hazing incident. The interview was also posted on Facebook and YouTube. The other complaint was filed by Mr. Divina and his firm Divina Law against Ms. Kapunan and Patricia Paz C. Bautista in connection with the filing of a disbarment case against him and 20 other lawyers, which Ms. Kapunan also discussed in a television interview. In both the resolutions, the DoJ dismissed the libel complaints as it was not the respondents who published the remarks. The DoJ said in one of the resolutions that elements of oral defamation were present in the case. — Vann Marlo M. Villegas

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