P100M libel suit mulled vs Davao daily


By Ben O. Tesiorna

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THE chief executive officer of Dabawenyo Minerals Corporation (DMC) is contemplating on filing a P100-million libel suit against a local newspaper for alleged malicious publication of a story against him.

In an interview, DMC chief executive officer Said Sayre said the Mindanao Daily Mirror story on October 1, 2008 entitled “DMC officers seek TRO vs chairperson” is nothing but “concocted and malicious rumor.”

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He said the writer, Judy Quiros, also failed to get his side of the issue before coming out with the story.

Sayre said the wife of one of his accusers, Rex Gabrido, is also an employee of the local daily, thus fueling his suspicion that the story was out to discredit him and his firm.

Mindanao Daily Mirror editor-in-chief Marietta Siongco said Thursday that their story was based on the facts stated in the complaint of three former DMC officials filed before Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10.

She admitted that Gabrido’s wife, Marites, is the assistant advertising manager of their company but added that no employee could influence her to come out with the story.

Siongco said they are ready to publish the side of Sayre anytime he wishes to be interviewed by them.

In the Daily Mirror story, Sayre was accused of forgery and fraud by former company officials identified as Habib Mahalail Hassan, DMC vice president for operations; Rex Angelo Gabrido, corporate secretary; and Hadji Nouh Daiman, DMC director for operations.

The three accused Sayre of forgery and falsification of public documents “to collect substantial amount from the entities he entered into contract without authority and resolution from the DMC Board.”

For this, the three complainants are now asking the RTC for a temporary restraining order against Sayre to stop him from entering into any contract or agreement with any investors.

Gabrido claimed that Sayre is planning to liquidate him for refusing to accept the P500,000 offer as payment for Gabrido’s 129,287.50 shares from the company.

Sayre said the three are all lying as he presented documents to prove that he had already paid the three complainants more than what they should get from the company.

In the deeds of sale he presented, Sayre said he paid P500,000 for the 129,287.50 shares of Gabrido. He said this is more than the amount of shares valued at P1 per share.

Another deed of sale showed Sayre paying P1 million for the 21,245 shares of Hassan. Sayre also paid P250,000 for the 21,425 shares of Daiman. The deeds of sale were all executed in July this year.

“So how could they say I have not paid them and that they are still part of my company? I have paid them more than what they deserve and yet ganito ang gagawin nila sa akin? The case they filed in court is ongoing and now nag-una una na sila ug palabas ug story. Kaya karon I will face them because I have all the documentary evidence whereas yung kanila is all rumor,” Sayre said.

Sayre said before the court complaint, the three also filed same complaints before the offices of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB)-Southern Mindanao and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP).

He showed documents showing that MGB and NCIP Southern Mindanao have dismissed the complaints of the three for lack of merit last September 23.

Sayre said no less than Gabrido himself, as corporate secretary back then, authorized him (Sayre) to negotiate with any private investors for their mining concession in the boundaries of Mati City and Lupon in Davao Oriental.

The secretary certificate presented by Sayre was dated March 5, 2005 and signed by Gabrido and Sayre.

Sayre said documentary evidences in his hand would dispel all allegations hurled against him by his three former employees. He said the three had long been trying his patience. He said the allegation that he plans to assassinate Gabrido is, however, below the belt and that he would not allow it to pass.

Sayre said a grave accusation as planning to kill another person dictates for the accused to be asked of his side first before publishing such a story.

He claimed the Mindanao Daily Mirror failed to exercise its duty, thus he will seek redress in court against the local daily and his three accusers. (SunStar)

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