February 01 2018
The Provincial Prosecution Office of Rizal dismissed the libel complaint filed by Glasgow Credit and Collection Service Corporation against GMA Network Senior Vice President for News and Public Affairs Marissa Flores, Segment Producer Chad Dionisio, and program host Winnie Monsod for lack of probable cause.
Glasgow accused Monsod, Flores, Dionisio, Atty. Lalaine Monserate of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and financial adviser Francisco Colayco of committing libel after Glasgow’s credit affairs were discussed in GMA News TV’s program Bawal ang Pasaway Kay Mareng Winnie. The episode, which aired last February 22, 2016, was about investment scams and Glasgow was cited by Monserate and Colayco as having violated the Securities Regulation Act.
Monserate and Colayco, however, averred that the discussions made during the program are considered “qualifiedly privileged communication involving fair commentaries on matters of public interest and are, therefore, not actionable.” Monserate further noted that she merely stated the truth in her comments which were based on a decision by the SEC regarding Glasgow’s case.
In the Resolution dated July 6, 2017, Associate Provincial Prosecutor Jaime D. Co noted that the show’s host and guests were discussing on financial investments and what to do when victimized by investment scams in order to educate its viewers. The case of Glasgow was briefly mentioned and only incidental to the main topic of the episode with no intention on the part of the host and guest to malign, discredit, or put in contempt the complainant.
The prosecutor also stated that respondents Monsod and Colayco merely relied on Monserate’s statement regarding Glasgow when they made their respective comments with no malice on their part. It was also observed that the complainant failed to prove the actual participation of Dionisio and Flores in the alleged libelous statements.