Demetriou to appeal quashed ‘offending religious feelings’ case vs priest

Ian Laqui - Philstar.com
Demetriou to appeal quashed �offending religious feelings� case vs priest
Our Lady Mary Mediatrix of All Grace

MANILA, Philippines — Following the granting of the motion to quash by a Quezon City court on the charge of offending religious feelings against Dominican exorcist Fr. Winston Cabading, the case’s plaintiff, former SandiganBayan Associate Justice Harriet Demetriou, announced her intention to appeal.

Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 224 Judge Zita Marie M. Atienza-Fajardo ruled on May 7, 2024, that Demetriou did not provide sufficient evidence that Cabading violated Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes offending religious feelings, or Section 6 of Republic Act 10175, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, which addresses crimes committed using information and communications technologies.

In a phone interview with Philstar.com, Demetriou, who is also Marian devotee, said that she and her lawyers will appeal the case to the Court of Appeals all the way to the Supreme Court.

“We're going to exhaust all legal remedies provided for by law,” Demetriou said in a phone interview with Philstar.com.

A motion to quash is a legal motion filed before the court aimed at declaring a particular indictment, information or charge against the accused invalid.

In quashing the information, the Quezon City RTC said that Demetriou failed to provide sufficient evidence that Cabading violated Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) which provides penalties for offending religious feelings.

The quashed complaint was also filed under Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act, which mandates that offenses defined under the Revised Penal Code will receive a penalty one degree higher than indicated in the penal code.

In December 2022, Demetriou initiated legal action against Cabading, labeling him a "rabid critic" of the Mediatrix of All Grace.

The former SandiganBayan justice accused the Dominican exorcist of offending her and other believers by expressing his opinions about followers of the Marian apparition at the Carmelite Monastery of Lipa in 1948, which had been debunked by the Vatican twice.

RELATED: Vatican releases decree affirming Lipa apparition 'not supernatural'

The former Commission on Elections chair cited a Facebook video that quoted Cabading’s statements against the Lipa apparition and image.

This led to the priest’s arrest on May 13, 2023. He was granted temporary liberty after posting bail on May 15.

This case is one of the three lawsuits filed by Demetriou against Cabading.

Another perjury charge against the exorcist was dismissed on Jan. 24, 2024 by a Makati Regional Trial Court.

RELATED: Demetriou complaint vs priest over unverified ‘miracle’ junked

Cabading still faces a pending perjury charge in another Quezon City court.

In a message to Philstar.com, Cabading said that he was grateful for the RTC’s decision.

"We thank the judge for the decision. Despite the arrest of May last year, I was confident that the truth will eventually prevail, for I have faith in our justice system,” Cabading said.

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