REPUBLIC ACT No. 4363
AN ACT FURTHER AMEND ARTICLE THREE HUNDRED SIXTY OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE.
Section 1. Article three hundred sixty of the Revised Penal Code, as amended by Republic Act Numbered Twelve hundred and eighty-nine, is further amended to read as follows:
"Art. 360. Persons responsible. Any person who shall publish, exhibit, or cause the publication or exhibition of any defamation in writing or by similar means, shall be responsible for the same.
"The author or editor of a book or pamphlet, or the editor or business manager of a daily newspaper, magazine or serial publication, shall be responsible for the defamations contained therein to the same extent as if he were the author thereof.
"The criminal and civil action for damages in cases of written defamations as provided for in this chapter, shall be filed simultaneously or separately with the court of first instance of the province or city where the libelous article is printed and first published or where any of the offended parties actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense: Provided, however, That where one of the offended parties is a public officer whose office is in the City of Manila at the time of the commission of the offense, the action shall be filed in the Court of First Instance of the City of Manila or of the city or province where the libelous article is printed and first published, and in case such public officer does not hold office in the City of Manila, the action shall be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he held office at the time of the commission of the offense or where the libelous article is printed and first published and in case one of the offended parties is a private individual, the action shall be filed in the Court of First Instance of the province or city where he actually resides at the time of the commission of the offense or where the libelous matter is printed and first published: Provided, further, That the civil action shall be filed in the same court where the criminal action is filed and vice versa: Provided, furthermore, That the court where the criminal action or civil action for damages is first filed, shall acquire jurisdiction to the exclusion of other courts: And provided, finally, That this amendment shall not apply to cases of written defamations, the civil and/or criminal actions to which have been filed in court at the time of the effectivity of this law.
"Preliminary investigation of criminal actions for written defamations as provided for in the chapter shall be conducted by the provincial or city fiscal of the province of city, or by the municipal court of the city or capital of the province where such actions may be instituted in accordance with the provisions of this article.
"No criminal action for defamation which consists in the imputation of a crime which cannot be prosecuted de officio shall be brought except at the instance of and upon complaint expressly filed by the offended party."
Section 2. If any section or sections of this Act shall be declared unconstitutional or invalid, it shall not invalidate the other sections hereof.
Section 3. This Act shall take effect only if and when, within thirty days from its approval, the newspapermen in the Philippines shall organize, and elect the members of, a Philippine Press Council, a private agency of the said newspapermen, whose function shall be to promulgate a Code of Ethics, for them and the Philippine press, investigate violations thereof, and censure any newspaperman or newspaper guilty of any violation of the said Code, and the fact that such Philippine Press Council has been organized and its members have been duly elected in accordance herewith shall be ascertained and proclaimed by the President of the Philippines.
Approved: June 19, 1965.
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