[Answer/discuss the question below, or see 2016 bar exam Criminal Law Instructions; 2016 Mercantile Law questions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19 and 20; See also 2016 Bar Exam: Information, Discussions, Tips, Questions and Results]
A is the president of the corporate publisher of the daily tabloid, Bulgar; B is the managing editor; and C is the author/writer. In his column, Direct Hit, C wrote about X, the head examiner ofthe BIR-RDO Manila as follows:
“!tong si X ay talagang BUWAYA kaya ang logo ng Lacoste T shirt niya ay napaka suwapang na buwaya. Ang nickname niya ay si Atty. Buwaya. Ang PR niya ay 90% sa bayad ng taxpayer at ang para sa RP ay 10% /ang. Kaya ang baba ng collection ng RDO niya. Masyadong magnanakaw si X at dapat tangga/in itong bundat na bundat na buwaya na ito at napakalaki na ng kurakot.”
A, Band C were charged with libel before the RTC of Manila. The three (3) defendants argued that the article is within the ambit of qualified privileged communication; that there is no malice in law and in fact; and, that defamatory comments on the acts of public officials which are related to the discharge of their official duties do not constitute libel.
Was the crime of libel committed? If so, are A, B, and C all liable for the crime? Explain. (5%)