Pornography charge vs Bella Ruby Santos dismissed-A A +A
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
NOT everything is going bad for Bella Ruby Santos. The Office of the Naga City Prosecutor dismissed yesterday the child pornography charge lodged against her for lack of evidence.
Naga City Prosecutor Napoleon Alburo confirmed this in an interview yesterday, saying the complaint the police filed wouldn’t survive trial.
“And when that happens, it is us prosecutors who are embarrassed,” Alburo said in
The child pornography case was an offshoot of the raid the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) conducted on Santos’s home in Naga at the height of the agency’s investigation on the abduction and killing of six-year old Ellah Joy Pique.
Ellah Joy was last seen walking home from school in Calajoan, Minglanilla, in the
afternoon of Feb. 8, 2011.
Two persons aboard a vehicle supposedly stopped and coaxed her to come with them. Her dead body was found in Barili a day later.
Other than finding a vehicle that generally matched the one Ellah Joy’s abductors allegedly used, and bed sheets with traces of blood, police found pornographic illustrations on covers of compact discs during the raid, hence the complaint.
The illustrations depicted nudity and, therefore, is pornographic under Republic Act (RA) 9775, Alburo said.
But Alburo pointed out that the complaint cited Section 4 of the statute. This particular provision covers hiring of children in the production of porn, to actually producing and publishing porn.
And while there is a provision under Sec. 4 that covers possession, it should be with “intent to sell, distribute, publish, or broadcast” the material.
“They cited the wrong provision of law. What they cited did not conform to the facts of the case,” Alburo said.
Moreover, he said the pornographic CD covers were obtained in a search justified by a warrant issued for abduction and homicide, not to secure evidences for a pornography case.
“The warrant did not state that the pornographic CD covers were the items to be looked for and seized,” he said.
As such, he said, he could not elevate the complaint to a formal indictment.
“There was just no basis,” he said.
He said the dismissal of the complaint will not have any impact on the kidnapping with homicide case now awaiting arraignment before Judge Esther Veloso.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 19, 2011.