Charges vs actor, ex-NBI agent dismissed

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THE Supreme Court (SC) has dismissed serious illegal detention charges against actor Rez Cortez and his co-accused for allegedly detaining intelligence agent Sgt. Vidal Doble in 2005.

In a July 11, 2016 ruling penned by Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno that was released just recently, the tribunal granted a petition filed by Cortez et al. as it reversed and set aside a ruling of the Court of Appeals (CA) and reinstated a decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 139, dismissing the criminal case against them.

The charges stemmed from an exposé of the so-called Hello Garci tapes or the wiretapped conversations supposedly between then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and then-poll commissioner Virgilio Garcillano.

Cortez and the late Sammy Ong, a former agent of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), were both accused of detaining Doble, the supposed source of the tapes, at the San Carlos Seminary in Makati City (Metro Manila) in 2005.

Cortez and broadband scam star witness Rodolfo “Jun” Lozada narrated what they went through in the hands of the Arroyo administration.

They were slapped with illegal-detention charges but these were dismissed by the Makati RTC.

The CA, however, reversed the lower court’s decision and revived the charges against the two, prompting them to seek redress with the SC.

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