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CEBU, Philippines – Well-known Cebu artist and Deutsche Welle Freedom of Speech Award laureate Bambi Beltran is free again after posting P36,000 bail at the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 14 in Cebu City on Saturday, May 27.
Escorted by personnel from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Cebu Provincial Field Unit, Beltran submitted documents necessary for bail at the RTC Office of the Clerk of Court in the Qimonda IT Complex, Cebu City.
Beltran’s lawyer, Amando Virgil Ligutan, told Rappler that the latest case filed against her is related to a dismissed case involving the late Cebu City mayor Edgar Labella.
“Based on the online system, we can gather that the information was filed way back in 2021,” Ligutan said.
In court, the information is a formal accusation in writing, charging an individual with an offense.
In April 2020, Beltran was charged with violating Republic Act 10175, or the Cybercrime Prevetion Act of 2012 for a satirical social media post about the COVID-19 cases in Sitio Zapatera, Barangay Luz, Cebu City.
“This time, she is being charged of a different offense,” Ligutan said.
Police on Friday afternoon, May 26, arrested Beltran on grounds of unlawful use of means of publication and unlawful utterances, in relation to cybercrime.
Beltran spent the night at the CIDG Cebu Provincial Field Unit office at Camp General Arcadio M. Maxilom in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City.
After her release, Beltran thanked the organizations that supported her and helped her post bail just in time before the court’s closing time on the weekend.
“I am very very happy that we were able to post bail because it felt like everything was against us…and so I would like to thank everybody who has helped in one way or another. We made it,” Beltran said.