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Esperon’s perjury case nears resolution

National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr.’s perjury complaint against Karapatan, Gabriela and the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP) nears resolution as the rights groups’ camp filed its rejoinder before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office on Thursday.

 National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

Attorney Ephraim Cortez, Karaptan’s legal counsel, said the Prosecutor’s Office is set to issue a resolution after the two camps have submitted their respective memoranda within 10 days.

The fiscal might either dismiss the case or certify basis to pursue the case in court, he said.

The perjury complaint filed by Esperon on July 2 was in relation to the writ of amparo and habeas data petition previously filed by members of the rights groups before the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals against
President Rodrigo Duterte, Esperon and other high-ranking military and government officials.

Esperon asserted that the RMP, a religious group, misrepresented itself in the amparo petition as a non-stock, non-profit corporation, citing a certification from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued on Aug.
15, 2019 that it has revoked the group’s registration on Aug. 20, 2003.

In its rejoinder, Karapatan highlighted that there had been no sufficient response and evidence on its counter-affidavit.

“We highlighted and emphasized that there had been no dishonesty at all because from the very beginning, there had been incorporation and submission of all documents, reportorial requirements of SEC — those are
indications that RMP believed it was incorporated and they acted as a corporation during that period,” Cortez said in English and Filipino.

Karapatan’s camp remains confident that the case will be dismissed for lack of sufficient basis.

“If only it were fair, this complaint has no basis. There is no basis for them to be charged in court. In fact, it should have been dismissed at the very instance,” Cortez said.

Esperon did not show up during the submission of the rejoinder and was represented by his lawyers.

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