Annabelle Rama seeks reset of arraignment in libel caseBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Talent manager Annabelle Rama has asked a Quezon City court to defer her arraignment pending her appeal on the 13 counts of libel for allegedly maligning former actress Nadia Montenegro on her Twitter account.
Rama is seeking a 90-day postponement of the indictment as she is still questioning her indictment by the Quezon City Prosecutors’ Office.
Rama filed her four-page omnibus motion through lawyer Derrick Delegencia after Judge Eleuterio Bathan of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 92 reset her arraignment for June 11.
The feisty talent manager also asked the court to reconsider its May 25 order denying her motion to suspend the arraignment.
Rama said she has filed a motion for reconsideration with the city prosecutor questioning its April 12, 2012, partial indictment.
Rama is facing 13 counts of libel for allegedly tweeting malicious messages against Montenegro and for making similar statements on two television talk shows last year.
The libel charges add to a string of cases that Montenegro filed against Rama, including oral defamation, falsification of documents, libel and child abuse in relation to Montenegro’s teenage daughters who were pursuing show-biz careers under Rama’s watch.
In her appeal to Bathan, Rama asked for the reversal of the order, saying it might have been issued on the understanding that she was seeking an indefinite suspension of the proceedings.
“Accused seeks the kind indulgence of this court as she acknowledges that it would be too imposing and near improper and unfair to give the inference that she is taking for an indeterminate suspension of this proceedings. Accused’s present motion seeks only a reasonable period that would allow her to exhaust the appeal processes provided by the law against the April 12, 2012, partial resolution of the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.”
She added that should no resolution be issued against her motion for reconsideration of the libel cases or her possible ensuing appeal to the Department of Justice, she is willing to be arraigned “without any reservations or preconditions.”
The talent manager proposed an arraignment date of September 10, which she promised to attend.
Rama also asked the court to “balance its acknowledged power and prerogative to proceed with the consolidated criminal cases as against her right to due process, particularly her prerogative to challenge the fiscal’s resolution.”
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