P1M libel vs. pizza owners

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P1M libel vs. pizza owners

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Two separate one million-peso criminal libel complaints were filed against Cebu-based operators of a pizza chain named Alberto’s Pizza and an editorof a local newspaper at the City Prosecutor’s Office in Tagbilaran City, Thursday.

Charged for libel were siblings Donny Kiamko and Sidney Kiamko, business partners of complainant Jeffrey Real, and who operate Alberto’s Pizza chain of stores in Cebu and other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao. Charged along with them was Orange Plate Corp. represented by its President, Donny Kiamko, of #43 Sepulvida St., Cebu City.

They were charged after causing the publications of paid advertisements in local newspapers in Bohol.

The publication of the paid advertisement was filed by Jeffrey Real’s business partners who run the Alberto’s Pizza outlet in Tagbilaran City.  The paid ad stated that their partner, Jeffrey Real, was removed as franchisee for failure to comply with health and quality standards. The publication then warned the public against threats to health posed by the outlet.

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The libel complaint branded as false and malicious the publications in Bohol Balita Daily News. Real, in an interview also charged as false and malicious and libelous the paid advertisement printed in the Bohol Tribune.

The libel complaint stated that the there was no violation of any health quality standards because the Cebu-based operators of Alberto’s Pizza, Donny Kiamko and Sidney Kiamko, never even furnished the outlet in Tagbilaran of the company’s Operations Manual with which to base the standards.

The complaint also alleged that Alberto’s Pizza in Tagbilaran has been subjected to inspection by the City Health Office which has given it a clean bill.

The City Health Office even warned the complainant, Jeffrey Real, against possible sabotage of their store to justify these supposed ‘threats’ to public health.

The complainant also said the outlet has been consistently issued a Sanitary Permit by the city government.

The complaint narrated that the Cebu-based operators are trying to ease him out of the Tagbilaran market when the operators saw the Tagbilaran outlet as one of the flourishing outlets outside of Cebu.

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The complaint also said that it has a valid and effective contract.

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A team of Sanitary Inspectors from the City Health Office conducted a health and sanitation inspection at the outlet of complainant, Jeffrey Real.  They subsequently certified that NO Sanitary Violations nor Sanitary Complaints were noted.  Furthermore, the certificate stated that the Sanitary Permit issued to the outlet has never been revoked at any time on said period.  The certificate was issued by the City Health Office through the City Health Officer, Dr. Apollo John O. Bernaldez.

The same respondents, Donny Kiamko and Sidney Kiamko, are also facing another criminal charge of engaging in combinations in Restraint of Trade, for scheming to prevent the Tagbilaran outlet of Alberto’s Pizza from engaging in lawful trade.

Included in the libel charge is the Editor-in-Chief of Bohol Balita Daily News, Johnny G. Orioque.

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