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Walang takas! Manila court allows cyber libel case vs. Maria Ressa to proceed

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The Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 has turned to motion of Rappler executive editor Maria Ressa and her co-accused seeking to quash the libel case against them.

“A thorough reading of the information reveals that the allegations contained therein sufficiently established all the elements of the offense of cyber libel as defined under Section 4(c)(4) of R.A. 10175,” read the court’s resolution.

The case stemmed from the complaint of businessman Wilfredo Keng against the May 29, 2012 article published by Rappler and written by Ressa’s co-accused,former Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr., titled “CJ Using SUVs of Controversial Businessman”.

The court also disagreed with the defendants that they cannot be charged with the cyber libel since the one-year prescriptive period has already lapsed when Keng filed the complaint before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on 2014 and charges filed before the court only this year.

The RTC reminded that Rappler republished the article on February 19, 2014 and filed before the court on February 2019 which are “well within the period of 12 years” as prescribed under Republic Act 3326 (An Act to Establish Periods of Prescription).

The article reported that then Chief Justice Renato Corona was found using a 2011 Chevrolet Subarban which was found registered to Keng.

At that time Corona was facing an impeachment trial.

The article described the businessman as “shady” and involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling, among others.

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