A Manila court has turned down the motion filed by beleaguered online news publisher Rappler Inc. executive editor, Maria Ressa, on a cyber libel complaint filed against her and the news agency’s former writer, Reynaldo Santos.
In a 10-page order dated April 12, Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC Branch 46) Judge Rainelda H. Estacio-Montesa “denied for lack of merit” the motion to quash filed by all the accused.
“The arraignment of accused Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr. shall proceed on 16 April 2019 in the morning,” the court said, adding that it also found no merit in the arguments raised by the defense such as their claim that the allowable period to initiate criminal charges had lapsed or “prescribed.”
In finding that the prescriptive period has not yet set in, the court said “as alleged in the information, the accused republish(ed) the subject article on 19 February 2014.”
“The instant case was filed in Court on 5 February 2019 which is well within the period of 12 years negating the assertion raised by the accused that the offense already prescribed,” it said.
The court also turned down the news outfit’s claim that the criminal information filed does not state an offense against Rappler Inc.
“The corporate liability and its extent may be proven in evidence during the trial of the case,” the judge said.
WATCH ABS-CBN news report of Court denying Ressa’s plea to drop cyberlibel case