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Bello’s cyber-libel case undergoes preliminary conference

THE LEGAL defense team of Walden Bello proceeded to the preliminary conference at Regional Trial Court Branch 10 on Aug. 10 in relation to the cyber-libel case filed by former city information officer Jefry Tupas.

Lawyer Danilo Balucos explained in a press briefing that the preliminary conference is necessary to mark exhibits, list witnesses, present documentary evidence, and other materials. 

“For the pre-trial on Aug. 24, Professor Walden’s presence is required. During pre-trial, the parties will agree on trial dates. These are the dates for the prosecution to present evidence, ito na ‘yung dates for the defendant. Shortly after the pre-trial, we will have a clearer view of the timeline,” Balucos said. 

Tupas filed the cyber-libel complaint against the former vice presidential aspirant on May 7, after the latter accused the complainant of snorting about P1.5 million worth of drugs. 

Lawyer Estrella Elamparo said the team remains hopeful that justice will prevail.

“It is our hope that after the pre-trial conference and the prosecution presents its evidence, we will have the opportunity again to move for the dismissal of the case,” Elamparo said.

Elamparo said the team had filed an appeal with the Department of Justice (DOJ) on the existence of probable cause against Bello last July 29, 2022, but the matter had not been resolved until now.

Following the completion of the 60-day timeframe provided by the court for the DOJ to evaluate the petition, Bello was charged on Jan. 26 at the Regional Trial Court in Davao City. He declined to enter a plea of guilty during the arraignment, but the trial court did so on his behalf.

Elamparo also believed that “the case should not proceed any further given the utter worthlessness or baselessness of the evidence.”


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