Briones: Court ‘victory’

On the go

THERE are no shades of grey when it comes to Maria Victoria “Bambi” Beltran, the Cebu-based writer, artist, filmmaker and entrepreneur–I’m not sure if she accepts laundry but you can always ask her.

You either hate her or you love her. There are no in-betweens. Actually, there are those who are oblivious, but who cares about them?

I obviously belong to the latter category since I continue to be good friends with her after more than 20 years.

We don’t see each other much although she’s just a stone’s throw away. Maybe three times a year. Tops. Come to think of it, that might explain why our friendship endures. (Just kidding, Bams!)

But when we do get together, we just pick up from where we left off and talk about everything under the sun. Usually with a bottle of rum. Or two.

I haven’t seen her at all this year. What with the lockdown because of the pandemic and all that. Not even after her release from custody.

Yes, I’m talking about the same Bambi who was taken from her home past midnight sometime in April and brought to the Police Regional Office 7 headquarters, or something like that, without a warrant.

According to her, she was handcuffed to a chair in a room without ventilation. No air-condition, not even a fan. Her interrogators wanted her to admit that she was posting fake news. Of course, knowing Bambi, she would not.

So what was behind this Orwellian charade? Bambi posted something on Facebook that the Cebu City Government found offensive.

Anyway, that’s all moot since two of the three criminal cases filed against her were dismissed for lack of evidence by the Municipal Trial Court in Cities on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. The other one was dismissed last month.

When told about the development, Mayor Edgardo Labella said he would abide by the court decision. There would be no filing of a motion for reconsideration, he said.

Now, isn’t that good of him? He has decided to let go. As well he should.

After all, Labella wouldn’t want to be remembered as the official who brought all the resources of the City Government and the Philippine National Police down on a woman who was merely expressing her frustration over the coronavirus disease situation in the city.

That would certainly put a damper on his “Mr. Nice Guy” reputation.

As for Bambi, I’m sure she’s glad this is all over. After all, she has so many other fights to pick out there, battles to wage. In fact, she’ll probably find herself mired in another controversy in no time. And I’m saying that because she’s my friend.


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