Regional Trial Court Judge Ricky Jones Macabaya issued the arrest warrant for Miranda and Star Magic road manager Danilyn Nunga relative to the libel case they are facing before his sala.
The warrant was issued after Macabaya denied the motion filed by the accused, who sought to defer proceedings and to order the re-investigation of the case.
“The grounds asserted by Nunga that she was deprived of due process for they were not afforded a preliminary investigation or not given the opportunity to submit a counter affidavit deserves a scant consideration,” read Macabaya's two-page order.
The Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor indicted Miranda and Nunga for libel in relation to Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Assistant City Prosecutor Ruso Zaragoza filed the case in court last October 28 after the respondents failed to submit their counter affidavits, which would have allowed them to dispute the charges leveled against them. A bail of P10,000 each was recommended for the temporary freedom of the accused.
Defense lawyer Rex Atabay Tadena asked Macabaya to defer the proceedings and to order the re-investigation of the case.
In the pleading, Tadena argued that Miranda and Nunga were not given due process during the preliminary investigation.
Prosecution lawyer Jan Michael Cagulada opposed to the defense's motion, arguing that the accused were not deprived of due process since they were subpoenaed to answer the charges during preliminary investigation.
Should the accused intend to present evidence, Cagulada said they should do it during the trial proper and not in another preliminary investigation.
In the order, Judge Macabaya denied for lack of merit the defense's motion to the proceedings and to order the re-investigation of the case.
The state prosecutors conducted a preliminary investigation and the accused were subpoenaed.
“The failure of the accused to submit their counter-affidavits is construed by the court as waiver of their right to file the same,” said Macabaya in his order.
Although state prosecutors revolved the complaint without the counter affidavits of the accused, the same does not render the preliminary investigation irregular since the rules on criminal procedure allow prosecutor to resolve the case based on evidence presented.
The complainant, Clarence Taguiam, accused the respondents of libel for posting in their Instagram accounts a photo of him and that of his friends, Donna Marie Go.
In the post, Nunga labeled Taguiam and Go as “bogus and fictitious” sellers of a Go Pro Hero3 Action Camera last April 30, 2015.
On her Instagram, Nunga claimed she paid P7,500 for the camera she reportedly bought from Taguiam and Go, but she did not get the item. Miranda re-posted Nunga’s photo and remark in her Instagram account.
But Taguiam denied selling any camera to Nunga, saying he was with his father in China on a business trip on April 30.
In the resolution, Prosecutor Zaragosa said the respondents’ remark, though not vulgar, insinuates estafa, scam or fraudulent transactions by Taguiam and Go.
Since the respondents failed to answer the charges, Zaragosa said it was presumed that they have malice in posting the messages
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