After knowing me as the Atty. Berteni "Toto" Cataluña Causing charged by Edward Solon Hagedorn for libel, his lawyer said he will withdraw from the case.

This occurred on 8 August 2014 when I courageously went to the RTC of Puerto Princesa to surrender and pay for the bond.

Perhaps, this lawyer realized that the libel case is groundless and baseless.  Or perhaps he does not want to be embarrassed after trial that the libel case of Hagedorn against me does not hold water.

To understand why the libel case filed by Hagedorn is baseless, consider the following:

(1)  I filed before the Ombudsman against Edward S. Hagedorn, a criminal complaint because he did not disclose in his SALNs (Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth) for the years of 2004 up to 2012 -- where he failed to list down he had 59 real properties in land, his shareholdings in corporations, and his motor vehicles;

(2) In revenge, he filed criminal case for libel against me before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Puerto Princesa upon the theory that in a radio interview I uttered defamatory statements against him;

(3) The matters I spoke in that interview were all about the contents of the said complaint about SALN violations and a few answers I made when asked what would be the consequences upon sets of conditions;

(4) One such question was this: "What will happen if Mayor Hagedorn will be able to explain the charges of violations on SALNs?"; where my answer was "of course if Hagedorn can explain my charges he will be saved" -- which, according to the City Prosecutor, was libel against Hagedorn because I was insinuating that Hagedorn cannot be able to explain those violations;

(5) Another question was where I answered "the reason officials are required to submit SALNs is to let the people know of the officials' property and not to hide them."

(6) My accusations against Hagedorn are supported by certified true copies of his SALNs from the year 2004 up to 2012 not listing any land properties except for his residences and his lumpsum statement of "land with improvements", certification of his tax declarations stating his land properties, certification by the Ombudsman that all the SALNs submitted by Hagedorn to that office did not have any annex of list of properties, and a certified copy of a legal opinion given by the Civil Service Commission (CSC) that it is required of all public employees to state the real properties individually as to the area and location of each land and the certificate of title of each; AND

(7) With the certified documents as the evidence proving my accusation, I can be justified in insinuating, even if I insinuated, that Hagedorn cannot be able to explain why he did not disclose his 59 properties.

After reading the above, you may judge whether I am guilty of libel or not.


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