Cebu News

RTC temporarily dismisses case vs woman who abducted baby

Michael Vencynth H. Braga - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Regional Trial Court yesterday ordered the provisional dismissal of the kidnapping case against a former call center agent who allegedly abducted an infant from the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) last January.

RTC Branch 6 Judge Ester Veloso dismissed the case temporarily after the arresting officers and the complainants failed to attend the hearings of the case against Melissa Londres.

The dismissal came upon the motion of the defense which was not opposed by the prosecution.

But Prosecutor Llena Ipong-Avila said the case may be re-filed once the complainants show up and decide to pursue the case within two years.

Under the law, the  provisional  dismissal for offenses punishable by  imprisonment  of  more  than  six  years, such as kidnapping, will  become  permanent  after  two  years without the case having been revived.

 After the provisional dismissal becomes final, the accused cannot be prosecuted for the said offense anymore.

With the dismissal, Veloso also ordered Londres' release from the Cebu City Jail, unless there is another offense that would make her stay behind bars.

During her arraignment last February, Londres entered a not guilty plea before Judge Veloso.

Londres posed as a nurse and took a newborn baby from VSMMC last January 4.

The next day, baby Prince Niño Celadenia was rescued from Londres.

The baby’s parents, Jonathan and Jayvee Celadenia, later backed off from pursuing the complaint and executed an affidavit of desistance after Londres’ mother visited them and pleaded to drop the case.

They reportedly pitied the accused and decided to forgive her.

After she was arrested, Londres insisted Prince Niño is her son with her boyfriend Philip Winfred Almeria.

She later admitted that she took the baby from the hospital, explaining that she only did it to prevent her boyfriend from breaking up with her. (FREEMAN)

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