What is the penalty for libel? Is a preliminary investigation required?

It is imprisonment or fine, or both.  But the Supreme Court has suggested that courts should lean towards only imposing a fine, as explained by one law firm, Jaromay, Laurente, and Pamaos.

Is a preliminary investigation required before an information is filed?  No. Under Rule 112, such investigation is required if the imposable penalty is “at least 4 years, 2 months, and 1 day without regard to the fine.”  This length of time is one day longer than that imposable as imprisonment for libel.

Note that the imprisonment imposable in libel is “prision correccional in its minimum and medium periods.”  In GR L-39708 and L-39709, this means  six months  and one day to four years and two months.”


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