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SOLIVEN VS MAKASIAR, BELTRAN VS MAKASIAR (1988)

FACTS: There was a publication here, criticizing the President during that time si Corazon Aquino. The accused here the publisher and the
chairman of the editorial board issued this publication and the president herself sued them for libel.

ISSUE: And so they went to the Supreme Court challenging this action against them stating that (1) this President is immune from suit; she
should not be able to file this case because otherwise we could not file counter charges against her. Lugi mi. (2) this libel suit against them
produces a chilling effect on them. They would rather not criticize this administration if they would have face libel suits filed by the president
herself. Now in the majority opinion of the Supreme Court said

RULING: In the first issue; the right of the president –her immunity from suit is personal to her so if she wanted to waive it by filing the criminal
charges she can do that. Therefore it is not right for the accused here Makasiar, the publishers to invoke that for her. They are not the ones who
can claim that she is immune from suit, she is the one who can claim that she is immune from suitit. By filing the suit against them she waived
her immunity and therefore the suit will continue. She subjects herself to other charges by filing the same because she already waive her
immunity upon filing the suit.

On the 2nd issue on the chilling effect, the court did not rule on it because according to the court it is not a trier of facts so the cases will anyway
continue with the trial courts they should be the one to determine if there is indeed a finding of this whatever allegation they alleged. But on
the dissenting opinion of one justice here, Justice Gutierrez he discussed this issue. Because according to him wala tay pulos as a supreme court
if we do not discuss this very important issue. A prosecution for libel, this was his conclusion, should not be allowed to continue where after
discounting the possibility that the words may not really be that libelous there is likely to be a chilling effect. In fact the inhibiting factor and the
willingness on news paper men especially the editors and publishers to courageously perform their critical role in society that is how we want
the case to be resolved. Go to the language used by the writers here.

Are they really libelous? And if not this case should be dismissed. Added to the fact that this case was filed by the president herself. Imagine
ikaw naghimo ka ug criticism and then the president will sue you for libel. What happens to you? Sira na imong whatever.

So anyway according to Justice Gutierrez this should have been considered when resolved by the court right then and there. Anyway while he
admits that the court is not a trier of facts and it vests the trial courts to determine. He begs to differ because there is this more important issue
in the petitions that should be resolved now rather than later. The court should not hesitate to quash a criminal prosecution in the more
unlighted and more substantial justice where it is not alone where the criminal liability of an accused in a seemingly minor case which is
involved but broader considerations of governmental powers which it preferred freedom.

There is an unusual situation here with the highest official of the country and one who enjoys an unprecedented public support asks for the
prosecution of a newspaper columnist. This is not a simple prosecution for libel because we have a popular and powerful president who heads
the investigation prosecution serving because that belongs to the executive department and appoints member of the appellate court who feel
superably maligned. She had taken an unorthodox step of going to court despite the invocations of the freedom of the press which would
inevitably followed. So the court act then and there kato iyang position. If discounting the prosecution for libel should not be allowed to
continue after discounting the possibility that the words may not be really that libelous there is likely to be a chilling effect and patently on the
inhibiting factor. And the willingness of newspaper men, editors and publishers who courageously perform their critical goal in the society. So he
is for the preservation of that right. It should not be suppressed by this action—libel suits against this author and editors.