Cebu News

Rama aide, wife ordered arrested

Gregg M. Rubio - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines —  The Municipal Trial Court in Cities in Danao City, Cebu has issued a warrant arrest against businessman Ernesto “Ernest” Herrera II and wife, Vanesa Herrera, for estafa charges.

Ernest Herrera is a special assistant to Cebu City Michael Rama, overseeing the City Office for Substance Abuse Prevention (COSAP).

Police Lt. Col. Ma. Theresa Macatangay, chief of the Investigation and Detection Management Unit (IDMU) of the Cebu City Police Office, told The FREEMAN the couple was not in their residence in Cebu City when the team served the warrant of arrest last Monday, the day it was issued by MTCC Danao City Presiding Judge Mae Lizbeth Avila Williams.

But lawyer Felix Borata, one of Herrera couple’s counsels, clarified that the warrant of arrest was never served upon their clients.

He said spouses Herrera only came to know of the warrant of arrest through the security guard of their subdivision.

“Upon knowledge of the said warrant of arrest, our client took the initiative to voluntarily surrender at PNP Station 4 at Quimonda Bldg. and posted bail, in the amount of P16,000 for each of them,” Borata said in a statement sent to this publication.

The case stemmed from business disputes between the Herrera couple and their partner, spouses Richard and Janice Kintanar.

On February 7, 2019, Ernest filed a complaint for cyber libel against the Kintanars over alleged several Facebook posts and comments on various dates, which allegedly contained malicious imputations that "malign, discredit, insult and assassinate the character and good reputation" of the former.

Herrera alleged that the persons he accused were attempting to take over the management of Kambal Pandesal which he claimed he owns.

The following day, February 8, 2019, spouses Kintanar also filed a criminal case against Herrera and his wife for violation of Article 310 in relation to Article 308 and Article 315 (1) (b) of the Revised Penal Code before the City Prosecutor Office in Danao City.

Spouses Kintanar said that since 2015, they have been partners with Herrera in running an outlet of Kambal Pandesal bakery located inside Cebu Mitsumi in Danao City.

It was only until later part of 2018 when the spouses Kintanar learned of the unpaid supplies of the bakery amounting to P800,000 and they claimed that they got less of the 50 percent share of the income of the bakery every month.

Weeks after the case was filed by spouses Kintanar, the City Prosecutor in Danao City dismissed it on March 12, 2019.

In April 2019, the Kintanars filed a petition for review before the DOJ which granted and recommended the filing of the same in court on December 16, 2022.

“Our clients will face the charges filed against them, and will file the proper pleadings in the appropriate forum. They will go through the proper legal procedures to address the case, and are confident that the truth will prevail,” Borata said.

Borata questioned the DOJ’s action since the case was already dismissed by the City Prosecutor’s Office in Danao City and they were not asked to file any pleadings.

“Worthy to note that in March 2019, this case was initially dismissed by Danao Prosecutor’s Office for lack of probable cause. The local prosecutor found no merit in the complaint for qualified theft and/or estafa. That is why our clients now wonder why a warrant of arrest was issued for the case, which is also now downgraded to simple estafa only,” Borata said.

“For the sake of the family of our client, we will not tolerate any form of harassment or false information against them,” he added.  – JMD (FREEMAN)


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