Manila court resets arraignment of Ressa, Santos for cyber libel

(Eagle News)–A Manila court has reset the scheduled arraignment of Rappler executive editor Maria Ressa and a former reporter for cyber libel on Tuesday, April 16.

Branch 46 Judge Raibelda Estacio-Montesa set the arraignment of Ressa and Reynaldo Santos to May 17 instead.

This was to allow Ressa’s camp to file a motion for reconsideration of the court’s decision dismissing their motion to quash the charges against them.

The cyber libel charges stem from a Rappler article written by Santos on businessman Wilfredo Keng and which was published in 2012 and edited in 2014.

In dismissing their motion to quash last week, the judge gave weight to the prosecution’s argument the Cybercrime Prevention Act still applied since its prescriptive period was 12 years, based on Republic Act 3326 which provides for the prescription of special laws.

The judge also denied Ressa camp’s argument the law could not apply since it was under a temporary restraining order at that time, saying the TRO has already been lifted.