2 criminal cases vs. Jay Sonza junked but broadcaster stays in jail
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QC RTC) provisionally dismissed two criminal cases filed against broadcaster Jay Sonza on Thursday.
His release was directed “unless held for some lawful other causes.”
In an order by QC RTC Branch 100 Judge Editha Aguba dated August 17, 2023, a case of syndicated large-scale illegal recruitment against Sonza was dismissed.
The court made the decision after the complainants did not appear in court during the hearings.
“Upon motion of the accused, without objection on the part of the people, considering that with the non-appearance of private complainants, the guilt of [the] accused could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt,” the resolution stated.
“The instant case is hereby dismissed,” it concluded.
Meanwhile, another court also provisionally dismissed a separate illegal recruitment case against Sonza.
QC RTC branch 215 also acquitted the broadcaster of the crime.
Under the Rules on Criminal Procedure, a criminal case may be provisionally dismissed when the accused expressly consents to it and the offended party is notified of such a dismissal.
Still, the rules provide that the case may be revived within one year after issuance of the order for cases whose penalty does not exceed six years and within two years for cases whose penalty is over six years.
Despite these verdicts, BJMP told INQUIRER.net that Sonza is still in the custody of BJMP’s Quezon City Jail Quarantine Facility.
This is because the broadcaster still faces 11 counts of estafa, also at QC RTC Branch 100.
The bureau added Sonza also has a pending libel case before QC RTC branch 77, which has a bail of P10,000.
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