Cebu updates hosts face trial

Cebu updates hosts face trial
SunStar Local News GPX

THE two hosts of Facebook page Cebu Updates will face trial after the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office has found enough evidence to charge them with illegal access and computer-related identity theft.

Erwin dela Cerna and Christian Tura has been indicted for violation of Republic Act (RA) 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

Meanwhile, dela Cerna and Tura posted bail of P120,000 each on Wednesday, April 24, 2024. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 11 in Cebu City scheduled their arraignment and pre-trial conference on April 30.

The Cebu City Government filed complaints against Tura and dela Cerna before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office on Feb. 5, 2024, alleging that the Cebu Updates page, once a Public Information Office (PIO) page, is now being utilized for “political propaganda” against Mayor Michael Rama.

SunStar Cebu obtained a copy of the resolution, dated March 13, 2024, and signed by Assistant City Prosecutor Lei Maurae Babatulan, from former city attorney and now City Budget and Finance Officer Jerone Castillo on Friday, April 26, 2024.


Babatulan, in her resolution, said there is probable cause to indict Tura and dela Cerna for violation of Sec. 4(a), paragraph 1 of RA 10175 for illegal access because the complainant, former PIO head of Cebu City, Estela Grace Rosit, had “convincingly” established that the Cebu Updates Facebook Page is the same page originally created for the Cebu City Government.

While dela Cerna and Tura denied the allegations against them, saying they are not the administrators of the Facebook page; however, the prosecutor noted that dela Cerna and Tura, “by their denial, have not justified how the access of the same came to their hands.”

“While they claim to be mere talents or anchors invited to do live broadcasts, they did not divulge the administrators they claim to be behind it. It does not change the fact that their access to the same is without right,” reads a portion of the resolution.

Moreover, Babatulan said there is enough evidence as well to indict Tura and dela Cerna for violation of Sec. 4(b), Paragraph 3 of RA 10175 for computer-related identity theft.

It added that under the current administrators of Cebu Updates, the page has evidently become a tool for propaganda aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the City Government.

“Applying the guide that is laid down for us, clearly, the posts of the respondents, on the Facebook page ‘Cebu Updates,’ formerly ‘Cebu City Public Information Office,’ made some damaging imputations against the Cebu City Government, which is contrary to the purpose of its creation,” the resolution said.

Order of release

Meanwhile, presiding Judge Ramon Daomilas Jr. of the RTC Branch 11 signed the release order for Tura and dela Cerna on April 24 after the two posted bail.

Daomilas said the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas was ordered to do the arrest.

The court also noted the formal entry of appearance dated April 24 filed by E.C Labella & Partners Law Offices as counsel for Tura and dela Cerna.

Cebu Updates’ side

The Cebu Updates, in response, said that the filing of the case would not hinder their “pursuit of truth and justice,” and described the City Government’s action as a “desperate” attempt to silence them.

“Kining nahitabo sa pagpasaka og kasong kriminal ug ang pagluwat og warrant of arrest dili arang makapugong sa atong pagsinggit sa kamatuoran ug hustisya,” it said.

(These events, the filing of criminal charges and the issuance of a warrant of arrest, cannot hinder our cry for truth and justice.)

“Dayag nga kining mga aksyon sa lokal nga kagamhanan usa ka desperado nga pagsuway aron pahilomon ang buot musupak sa kasaypanan sa gobyerno, ug tataw ang paagi ni Rama sa pagpanghudlat batok sa mga nangahas sa pagsulti batok sa korapsyon nga gahari sa iyang administrasyon,” it added.

(Clearly, these actions by the local government are a desperate attempt to silence those who dare to speak out against government’s wrongdoing, and Rama’s method of retaliating against those who dare to speak out against the corruption that reigns in his administration is evident.) / WBS


No stories found.

Just in

No stories found.

Branded Content

No stories found.
SunStar Publishing Inc.