UNTV station execs cleared in case of ‘obstruction’
The Quezon City prosecutors’ office has dismissed a complaint of obstruction of justice leveled against a former UNTV station manager and 12 others by an alleged rape victim, citing insufficiency of evidence.
Assistant city prosecutor Ralph Michael Cataquiz junked the charges against Jay Sonza, Alfredo Henares, Joselito Pedero, Dennis Villareal, Gener Asuncion, Enrique Henares, Daniel Razon, Ruth Soriano, Imelda Roque, Vicente Tan, Emilio Magdaraog, Danilo Navales and Fredelino Tudio.
The accused are officers of Progressive Broadcasting Corp. (PBC) and Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI).
The officers were accused of obstructing justice by a man who claimed to be a rape victim of “Ang Dating Daan” preacher Bro. Eli Soriano. Cataquiz said a rape case was pending in a Pampanga court.
Records showed that the Macabebe Regional Trial Court Branch 54 issued a warrant on June 2, 2009, for the arrest of Soriano after the complainant charged him with two counts of rape before the court.
The complainant, a resident of Pampanga, charged the respondents with obstructing justice for allowing the broadcast of Soriano’s blocktime show “Itanong Mo Kay Soriano” despite knowing that the latter was a fugitive from justice.
In junking the case, Cataquiz said the fact that the respondents aired Soriano’s shows did not mean that they harbored, concealed or facilitated Soriano’s escape.
He added that there was no evidence that the respondents obstructed the service of any process or court orders, or disturbed the proceedings in the criminal cases filed by the complainant.
“The acts of agreeing to broadcast/allowing the continued ‘live’ broadcast of Soriano’s shows and profiting from the broadcast of the same shows, which were alleged by complainant to have been committed by respondents, do not constitute the offense of obstruction of justice within the scope of Presidential Decree No. 1829,” Cataquiz said in a resolution.
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