MANILA, Philippines — Longtime activist and former vice presidential prospect Walden Bello has asked a Davao Metropolis courtroom to hold off the arraignment of a cyber defamation situation that has been submitted to the attorney normal for evaluate.
In a filing with the Davao Metropolis District Trial Courtroom, Division 10, attorneys Luke Espiritu and Danilo Balucos appeared as attorneys for Bello and knowledgeable the court docket that Attorney Typical Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla .
“As a result, the defendants respectfully ask for that the arraignment and even more proceedings be postponed though the petition is currently being reviewed by the distinguished secretary,” Bello’s legal professional said.
Bello, who was arrested last Monday but has now been produced on bail, will be arraigned on September 8 on two counts of on the internet libel.
The problems were submitted by Jeffrey Tupas, a former Davao City staff who now works in the workplace of Vice President Sarah Duterte, whom Bello identified as a “drug dealer.”
Tupas was functioning for then Davao Town Mayor Duterte — elected vice president in May possibly — when she was relieved from her submit at town hall in November 2021.
She attended a get together in Davao de Oro and later seized 1.5 million pesos really worth of unlawful drugs in the raid. Tupas reported she had remaining the get together when the arrest took place.
Vice President Duterte has distanced himself from Tupas’ issues. “I have in no way filed a defamation circumstance in my everyday living. The criticism isn’t really even truly worth looking back, due to the fact Davao City’s achievements have been established in stone less than my leadership,” she claimed final week.
Bello’s arrest has raised fears about absolutely free speech and dissent in the Philippines, where by defamation has traditionally been made use of to silence and harass vital voices.