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Walden Bello camp urges Remulla to act on petition vs. cyber libel complaint

The camp of former vice presidential candidate Walden Bello on Monday called on Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla to "walk the talk" in speeding up the justice system as it urged him to act on a petition for review filed in August 2022.

Bello’s Legal Defense Committee said the petition for review on Bello’s cyber libel case was dismissed on August 29, 2022 “based on mistaken and trivial procedural grounds.”

The camp then filed a motion for reconsideration on August 31, 2022 and an urgent motion to resolve the petition on January 16, 2023.

“Walk the talk, Justice Secretary!” the committee said in a statement.

“The Justice Secretary has vowed to speed up and unclog the notoriously slow justice system of the Philippines. In that regard, he has filed DOJ Circular No. 008… and DOJ Circular No. 027… Such resolutions are good in theory, but useless without practice,” it added.

The committee is referring to the Department of Justice circular ordering its prosecutors to recommend the withdrawal of pending criminal cases in first-level courts that have no probable cause with reasonable certainty of conviction.

According to the committee, it will exhaust all legal means in Bello’s case.

“We invite the Secretary of Justice to make a strong stand in support of those principles by acting favorably on our petition,” it said.

The cyber libel complaint was filed against Bello by former Davao City chief information officer Jefry Tupas in March 2022.

Bello, also a former party-list lawmaker, earlier said in a Facebook post that Tupas was “nabbed at a beach party where she and her friends were snorting P1.5 million worth of drugs.”

Tupas, who admitted to attending the party, said she left after eating and prior to the operation that happened, where the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency seized P1.5 million worth of drugs.

GMA News Online has reached out to Remulla for his comment but he has yet to respond as of posting time. —Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA Integrated News