Sarah Lahbati evades cases by fleeing the country


ABROGAR is not letting up.

“Dead-end cases” was how lawyer Ferdinand Topacio described the suits filed by GMA 7 against its contract artist Sarah Lahbati, who left the country on Sunday night.

Sources from the Bureau of Immigration confirmed on Monday that Lahbati boarded an Etihad Airways flight to United Arab Emirates on Sunday night. Lahbati earlier announced she would take a break from work and go to Switzerland to continue her studies.

The actress is facing a libel suit filed by GMA 7 executive Annette Gozon-Abrogar and a P7-million civil suit for breach of contract filed by the network last week.


No jurisdiction

For these cases to prosper, Topacio said Lahbati had to be physically present to accept the summons. Since Lahbati was no longer present, Topacio said she would not be able to present her counter-

affidavit, “which she has to personally hand to the prosecutor. She would also have to swear before him (prosecutor) that her affidavit is true and correct.”

“The cases will then be archived until the court already has jurisdiction over her… This is a sad fact,” Topacio elaborated when the Inquirer sought his opinion on Monday.

In a text message on the same day, Abrogar said she was studying the possibility of filing a case in Switzerland, should Lahbati continue “to tweet libelous statements while she is there.” Abrogar noted: “Switzerland’s cybercrime laws are quite developed.”

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  • Mel

    Looks like Sara Lahbati did a Mo Twister here…

  • Pablo Juan

    sounds like harassment… done to ensure other ‘talents’ dont get any ideas.. if you know what I mean.

  • ed_nique

    is her mother with her too? if so, annabelle will miss 2 votes in the elections …

    just kidding, just can’t help it.

    i just think it was insulting for them to register in cebu just to support annabelle. i seriously doubt if they’d know where they “live” if they are not driven around by the ramas.

  • ruben_bush

    GREAT !!!!  Abrogar should know that she cannot harass, bully, or threaten all artists into submitting to a working arrangement that is unfair and exploitative.  So, c’mon GMA try and catch Sarah if you can. By the way, I really doubt it if you can file a case in Switzerland.  I challenge you to really do it.  One thing is I don’t know if you can afford to pay lawyers fee in Switzerland.  Another thing is I don’t know if they have legal jurisdiction on a case that happened in the Philippines. Thirdly, please remember that Sarah Lahbati is a Filipina, but has dual citizenship–she is Swiss too, and I don’t think Abrogar can harass a Swiss national in her own country. 

  • darsmith

    While criminal case is out of question, civil case can still be filed against her in Switzerland, right?

  • concernedofw02

    ang kapal naman ng mukha ni abrogar…sila na nga ang bag-bu-bully, sila pa ang magpa-file nga case…tinaggalan na nilang work yong tao, tapos magpa-file pa sila ng case…sana mangyayari din sa family mo abrogar..darating ang panahon, na babagsak ka rin..

  • Platypus09

    All of these were possibly orchestrated by GMA, after she was paid to flee.

    This was to prevent her from squealing more dirty secrets of GMA top officials. She started to open her mouth. GMA had to make sure she stopped to keep its struggling reputation.

    All these suits and countersuits are just mere theatrical maneuvers to make the issue appear relevant while keeping GMA as a formidable institution. At the end of the day, this issue will die down as usual, not enough evidence to hear the case would be the end of it.

    Then, they will say DUH…

    And Sarah will be written in the annals of oblivion.

  • XY ZEE

    Kung ipalalaglag man nya ang laman ng kanyang sinapupunan…
    At least its one less Gutierrez to burden society with.

  • akimaxx

    Naglalaro lang sa isipan ko,  A new and very creative ‘publicity issue’ to promote her new film. Tingnan natin kung kakagatin ng ating ‘movie fans’. Kapag pumatok sa takilya, GMA Films saludo ako sa inyo.

  • pedronimo

    GMA7 seems to have a poor, if not, apathetic,  policy towards its talents, Only very GMA7 talents stay loyal to the network while others simply fade away without being able to sustain their Showbiz career: Cristina Halili, Ryann Ramos, Zubiri, to name a few. Also, the smart ones go to other networks like Channel 5.

    • batangsulpok

      Maaaring tutuo ang mga paratang ni Sarah L tungkol sa pagsingil ng sobrang mahal na talent fee ng GMA kaya walang tumatagal na mahuhusay na artista sa kanila, example sina Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis at marami pang iba kaya kung manood ka sa mga shows nila, di kilala at pinagtitiyagaan si Regine na palaos na.

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