FORMER Mayor Edward Hagedorn of Puerto Princesa has filed libel and threatened to file disbarment proceedings before the Supreme Court against National Press Club (NPC) lawyer Berteni Causing.
Causing earlier, accused Hagedorn of perjury and falsification of his statement on assets and liabilities and net worth (SALN).
In his nine-page complaint-affidavit, Hagedorn stated that Causing’s interview during the Straight to the Point program of Eljin Robert Damasco, Station Manager of Radio Mindanao Network (RMN) Palawan was “malicious, defamatory and damaging to my name and reputation.”
Hagedorn is demanding P5 million in moral damages from Causing for the mental anguish, serious anxiety, social humiliation, and besmirched reputation as result of the malicious and libelous interview.
In the said interview, Causing accused Hagedorn of failing to declare 59 properties in his SALN from 2004 to 2012.
“The interview has exposed me to public hatred, contempt and ridicule by imputing to me the offense of perjury and falsification,” Hagedorn pointed out.
Hagedorn, a defeated Senatorial candidate during the May 2013 polls said that there is no iota of truth in the allegations of Causing.
“He [Causing] did not bother to look at the attachments to the SALN which details all the properties. He only used the front part where we summarized the four classes of real properties; but, clearly, the SALN referred to a two page attachment entitled Certification [Property Holdings] that was filed in the Records Division of the Puerto Princesa BIR in full compliance with the law which details all the properties he claims were not declared in my SALN,” Hagedorn said.
He now accuses Causing of committing the crime of libel for stating in public defamatory and baseless statements against Hagedorn’s honor and reputation.
“The imputation of a crime against my person with the sole purpose of trying to destroy my reputation cannot be questioned,” Hagedorn added.
“I will not rest until this matter is clarified and cleared in the minds of the public, especially the people of Puerto Princesa,” Hagedorn declared.
“I am positive that respondent [Causing] uttered the defamatory statements with actual malice for the sole purpose of causing my dishonor, discredit and contempt,” he added.
“I am not also surprised with the report I received that anti-environment persons are behind this insidious and malicious attempt to denigrate all our efforts in turning Puerto Princesa into what it is today,” the former mayor emphasized.
In his complaint-affidavit, Hagedorn said he declared all of his assets in the SALN that he filed during his term as mayor of Puerto Princesa.
In his SALN, Hagedorn said he declared four classes of real properties namely commercial-agricultural land with improvement with total current market value of P102.534 million; residential house and lot with current market value of P10 million; another residential property with current market value of P10 million; and a commercial property with current market value of P41 million.
Together with the SALN, Hagedorn also attached a certification issued by the City Assessor of Puerto Princesa dated March 26, 2013 detailing the corresponding Transfer Certificate of Title numbers and/or Tax Declarations covering the 61 pieces of real properties referred to in the SALN form.
Hagedorn said he believes that there is a person behind Causing orchestrating the smear campaign.
“Is it because someone or some unseen hands just fed him with the wrong information; or, maybe, he simply wanted to add to the smear campaign that is being undertaken by my political detractors who want to control Puerto Princesa and change the pro-environment stance that we have protected for so many years? “ he pointed out.