Manila court defers arraignment of Ressa, co-accused for cyberlibel
MANILA, Philippine–The Manila Regional Trial Court has deferred the arraignment of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and co-accused former reporter Reynaldo Santos.
During Friday’s hearing, the Manila RTC Branch 46 deferred the arraignment to give government prosecutors 10 days to respond to a motion to quash filed by Ressa and Santos.
Ressa and Santos, through the Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG) sought the dismissal of the cyberlibel case.
FLAG said both Ressa and Santos cannot be prosecuted for an offense that does not exist when the questioned article was posted online.
After the prosecution submits its comment, Ressa and Santos have five days to reply.
“The Court expects to receive the last pleading on March 25, 2019,” said the court.
Arraignment is set in the morning of April 12.
The article subject of the cyberlibel ase was written by Santos in May 2012 claiming that businessman Wilfredo Keng lent his sports utility vehicle to then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Apart from this, the story also cited an intelligence report which said Keng had been under surveillance by the National Security Council for alleged involvement in human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Keng filed the cyberlibel complaint stating that the 2012 article was re-posted on February 2014. /muf
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