Muling nagpadala ng statement sa PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) si Atty. Marie Glen Abraham tungkol sa mga reklamo na isinampa niya kaninang umaga, July 22, para sa kanyang kliyente na si Sarah Lahbati.
Si Atty. Abraham ang legal counsel ni Sarah—na sinumpaan muna ang mga complaint affidavit noong July 15, bago ito umalis ng bansa.
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At gaya ng nauna nang inanunsiyo sa media, ang grave coercion complaint ay isinampa laban kina Atty. Anna Teresa G. Abrogar, Arsenio Baltazar, Michael Uycoco, Albert Muñoz, Shiela Buendia, at Andrew Dee.
Narito ang statement ng abugado ng young actress (published as is):
"As of this morning (July 22, 2013), we filed all the complaint-affidavits of Sarah. These are the grave coercion case against Atty. Anna Teresa G. Abrogar, Arsenio Baltazar, Michael Uycoco, Albert Munoz, Shiela Buendia and Andrew Dee filed before the Office of the City Prosecutor of Quezon City.
"Same with the criminal complaint for perjury against Atty. Anna Teresa Abrogar and the libel complaint against Abrogar and Marinel Cruz which were both filed before the OCP of Makati.
"This is consistent with our previous statement that we will submit the subscribed complaints of Sarah before the respective offices of the City Prosecutor either on the last week of July so her dates of hearings would be on the third week of August (the date of her arraignment) and onwards so we can assure her attendance in said hearings."
Ipinaliwanag din ni Atty. Abraham sa email ang magiging proseso pagkatapos ng filing (published as is):
"Sa Quezon City kasi, their raffle day is every Thursday.
"So the grave coercion case will be raffled Thursday [July 25] this week. The secretary of the prosecutor [fiscal] to whom the case will be assigned can send subpoena by mail on the first week of August, and the possible dates of hearings would be two weeks after, which will be on third week and fourth week of August.
"The same applies with Makati."
"DISRESPECTFUL TO MEDIA AND JUDICIARY." Naging kontrobersiyal ang announcement ni Sarah last week dahil hindi kaagad naklaro na "subscribe and sworn" ang ginawa niya noong araw na iyon sa halip na nag-file.
Matatandaang sa maikling panayam sa kanila ng media sa opisina ng prosecutor sa Quezon City, heto ang sinabi ni Atty. Abraham:
“Kaya lang, when she left, there’s already a warrant of arrest against here, so hindi na niya nagawa ang mga dapat niyang gawin before.
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“That’s why when she returned, ngayon lang nagawa yung pagsasampa ng kaso.”
Sa parte naman ni Sarah, sinabi nitong ang kanyang pagbabalik ay para "to fix things," "clear my name," at "defend myself."
Nang tanungin siya tungkol sa pregnancy rumors, heto ang naging sagot ng girlfriend ni Richard Gutierrez, “I’d rather not answer or comment on questions na hindi kaugnay ng case."
Sa latest email ni Atty. Abraham, sinabi niyang naipaliwanag na niya sa naunang statement ang dahilan kung bakit hindi sila nakapag-file kaagad. Subalit dismayado raw ito sa interpretasyon na wala silang respeto sa media at judiciary.
Ang tinutukoy ng abugado ni Sarah ay ang sinabi ni Atty. Gozon-Abrogar sa PEP noong July 18: "Members of the media who carried their story as if the complaints have been filed were victimized by them... For me, making it appear that a case was being filed in a prosecutor’s office for publicity purposes shows disrespect to our judiciary and our legal system."
Heto ang sagot ni Atty. Abraham, "I was just quite disappointed na pinalaki pa yung issue and because of that, Sarah and I were even accused of being ’disrespectful to media and the judiciary.’
"I felt that my act of releasing a statement to media clarifying that matter shows my utmost respect to media and the public as they have the right to know the truth.
"I felt that not submitting the complaints on the day of subscription of Sarah would even do good to the judicial process and to the Respondents to expedite the proceedings by assuring the attendance of the complainant."
"THERE IS GOOD FAITH." Kasama sa statement ni Atty. Abraham na may Q & A format ang report na pinag-aaralan ng kampo nina Atty. Gozon-Abrogar kung anong reklamo ang posibleng isampa sa kanya at kay Sarah.
Narito ang mahaba niyang pahayag (published as is), "I cannot think of any offense committed due to these acts.
"Number one, Atty. Abrogar said in her interview that ’nainis’ siya kasi gusto talaga niya na mag-file si Sarah kasi kung di niya ipa-file yung complaints, paano malalaman ng publiko ang totoo at kung may legal basis ba yung mga kasong gusto ni Sarah na ma-file. Eh hindi na-file on that day na nag-subscribe si Sarah kaya nainis siya.
"For me there is no reason para mainis.
"Foremost, the mere fact that Sarah subscribed to these complaint-affidavits means that we will file them. However, as I said it is not Sarah who will file them but I will be the one who will do the act of filing (to have them received by the office of the city prosecutor) because Sarah will leave the country on Tuesday.
"Yun nga lang I was advised by the docket section ng office of the City Prosecutor that if I file them on Monday, the hearing for that would be earlier than the date when Sarah will return.
"Thus, I was advised to file them either last week of July or first week of August. Na ang last week naman ng July ay ngayon or a week after July 15 lang, so I did not see any problem with that."
"Anyway, everything is moot and academic now because the complaints are already filed and as Atty. Abrogar said she is happy that complaints are filed so the public would know the truth.
"Secondly, on the issue that there is ’malice’ in the fact that we let the media and the public to believe that there were cases filed. At the onset, I said that there was no intention to let the media believed that we filed the case.
"As a matter of fact, as early as in the afternoon of Monday, July 15, I already clarified that matter when we were interviewed in Makati after Sarah subscribed to her complaint-affidavit for perjury.
"But I cannot blame the press for not taking note of that because they were more focused on the personal issues about Sarah."
Binanggit din niya ang mga pahayagan na nagsabing, "Sarah merely subscribed to her affidavits":
- Chito Santos of Manila Bulletin, Mb.com.ph on July 15
- Janvic Mateo and Mike Frialde of Philstar.com on July 16
At noong nalaman daw niyang ang ibang miyembro ng press ay nag-report tungkol sa "filing" of the complaints noong July 17, "ako pa ang nagprisinta if I can release a statement clarifying that matter."
Kaya raw noong gabing iyon, nagkaroon siya ng interview sa 24 Oras.
Dugtong ni Atty. Abraham (published as is), "On the same day, I contacted TV5 and ABS CBN, thus the article of [TV5 reporter] MJ Marfori stating my clarification while a reporter from ABS CBN said that they did not air that incident in TV Patrol, hence no need for clarification.
"This manifests ’good faith’ on our part which is repugnant with malice. So wala akong nakikitang kaso na pwedeng isampa dito.
"Hindi rin pwede ang libel kasi foremost the word ’filed’ is not defamatory.
"Secondly, as I said there is good faith because we clarified the matter."
TRIAL BY PUBLICITY. Bilang panghuli, hinikayat ni Atty. Abraham ang publiko na mag-focus sa mga reklamong isinampa nila.
"You see the parties in these cases are both public figures, hence we cannot avoid publicity trial.
"The media will always follow the story and the developments in these cases and the public will always demand for information.
"I just hope that the public will not be distracted with petty and irrelevant matters.
"The public deserves to know the truth behind these cases, thus, let us concentrate on the issues and face the cases head on."
Sa kasalukuyan, kinakalap na ng PEP ang pahayag ng mga taong sangkot sa isyu. Bukas ang website na ito sa magiging sagot nila.
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