Sunday, June 29, 2008

Jeffry Liang vs. People of the Philippines

Facts: Jeffry Liang, a Chinese national who was employed as an economist by the Asian Development Bank who was alleged by Joyce Cabal, a member of the clerical staff of Asian Development Bank of defamatory words.

The Metropolitan Trial Court of Mandaluyong City acting pursuant to an advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs that petitioner enjoyed immunity from legal process, dismissed the criminal Information against him.

On petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by the people, the RTC of Pasig annuled and set aside the order of Metropolitan Trial Court dismissing the case, so the Mr. Liang brought a petition for review.

Issue: Whether or not the statements allegedly made by petitioner, Mr. Liang were uttered while in the performance of his official functions.

Ruling: Denied the petition for review in the essence that the immunity granted to officers and staff of the Asian Development Bank is not absolute; it is limited to acts performed in an official capacity. Further, the court ruled that the immunity cannot cover the commission of a crime such as slander or oral defamation in the name official duty.

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