Persons Responsible Libel


1. The person who publishes, exhibits, or causes the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or similar means;
2. The author or editor of a book or pamphlet;
3. The editor or business manager of a daily newspaper magazine or serial publication; and
4. The owner of the printing plant publishes a libelous article with his consent and all other persons, who in any way participate in or have a connection with its publication.

1. where the libelous article is printed and 1st published, or
2. where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense, or
3. where one of the offended parties is a public officer:
   a. if his office is in the City of Manila, with the RTC of Manila, or the city/province where the article is printed and 1st published
   b. otherwise, with the RTC of the city/province where he held office at the time of the offense; or where the article is 1st published, or
4. where one of the offended parties is a private individual, with the RTC of province/city where he actually resides at the time of the crime or where the article was printed or 1st published.

Complaint for defamation imputing a private crime (i.e. adultery, concubinage, seduction, abduction, and acts of lasciviousness) must be filed by the offended party.

Person who publishes libelous letter written by offended party is liable (publishing and not composing is the prime requisite of crime)

Liability of editor is same as author

Limitations of venue: in order to minimize interference with public function if a public officer, and also to avoid unnecessary harassment of accused(to limit out-of-town libel suits)

Actual damages need not be proved where publication is libelous per se

Action for exemplary damages may be awarded if action is based on quasi-delict

No remedy for damages for slander or libel in case of absolutely privileged communication

Under Republic Act no. 8792, otherwise known as the Electronic Commerce Act, a party or person acting as a service provider incurs NO civil or criminal liability in the making, publication, dissemination or distribution of libelous material if:
a) the service provider does not have actual knowledge, or is not aware of the facts or circumstances from which it is apparent that making, publication, dissemination, or distribution of such material is unlawful or infringes any rights;

b) the service provider does not knowingly receive a financial benefit directly attributable to the infringing activity;

c) the service provider does not directly commit any infringement or other unlawful act and does not
induce or cause another person or party to commit any infringement or other unlawful act and/or does not benefit financially from the infringing activity or unlawful act of another person or party (Section 30, in relation to Section 5, E- Commerce Law