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MANILA, Philippines – The Special 17th Division of the Court of Appeals has cleared Bren Esports CEO Bernard “Bren” Chong from his alleged involvement in a drug smuggling operation at the Manila International Container Port, overturning a Manila City Regional Trial Court (RTC) decision.
Chong filed a Petition for Certiorari – which argues that a lower court has incorrectly decided an important question of law – when the respondent Manila RTC Branch 53 presided by Judge Reynaldo Alhambra refused to quash the warrant of arrest and dismiss the criminal charge.
Chong submitted a certification by the notary public as well as the General Information Sheet and Board Resolution in June and July 2018 showing that he has assigned his stock shares to Fortuneyield president Jaymark de Vicente.
This showed that Chong was no longer connected with Fortuneyield before the commission of the alleged importation of illegal drugs.
Chong stated in the petition that the respondent committed grave abuse of discretion.
“The petition is meritorious. In the Court’s power of judicial review, it is incumbent on the Court to ease the burden of the trial court in zeroing on the real culprits so that the latter may be brought to the face the dictates of criminal justice,” Associate Justice Bonifacio Pascua stated in the order.
Associate Justices Louis Acosta and Jennifer Joy Ong concurred.
“Wherefore, premised considered, the instant petition is granted. Accordingly, judgement is hereby rendered annulling and setting aside the assailed orders dates September 13, 2021; October 25, 2021; and April 29, 2022 issued by the RCT-Manila, Branch 53 in Criminal Case No. R-MNL-20-0002-CR,” Pascua ordered.
Chong, who is also an angel investor in many startup companies around the world, founded Bren Esports in 2017, the Filipino esports team which made history by becoming the first Philippine squad to win the $300,000 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M2 World Championship title three years ago.
Chong’s Bren Esports also had competitive teams in CS:GO, PUBG, League of Legends, Overwatch, Valorant, Hearthstone, Clash Royale, Arena of Valor, Rules of Survival and Tekken 7. – Rappler.com