Manila court denies Rappler’s bid to dismiss cyber libel raps
MANILA, Philippines–The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 has denied Rappler’s bid to dismiss the cyber libel case filed against the news agency by businessman Wilfredo Keng.
In a 12-page order, Manila RTC Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa dismissed the demurrer to evidence filed by its Executive Editor and CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher Reynaldo Santos.
A demurrer to evidence is in effect a motion to dismiss filed by the accused after the prosecution finished its presentation of evidence. The demurrer is anchored on the ground that the evidence presented by the prosecution is insufficient.
“The evidence for the prosecution is competent and sufficient to sustain the indictment for violation of Section 4 (C) (4) [Cyber libel] of Republic Act No. 10175 [Cybercrime Prevention Act] against all the accused,” the court said.
The court said the arguments raised by Rappler is best threshed out in a full-blown trial.
The presentation of evidence beginning with the defense will start on December 6.
The subject of the cyber libel case was written by Santos in May 2012 claiming that businessman Keng lent his sports utility vehicle to then Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Apart from this, the story also cited an intelligence report that said Keng had been under surveillance by the National Security Council for alleged involvement in human trafficking and drug smuggling.
Keng filed the cyber libel complaint stating that the 2012 article was updated and re-posted on February 2014.
Edited by JPV
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