MANILA, Philippines—The Spanish citizen accused of sexually abusing and taking videos of the 15-year old Filipino girl pleaded “not guilty.”
Francisco Manuel Sanchez de Oria or Franco Sanchez is facing charges of violating 10-counts of Republic Act No. 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Act and one count of violation of Republic Act 9775 or the Anti-Child Pornography Act.
Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar said the arraignment pushed through after the Taguig Court denied his motion to dismiss.
Quoting the court’s order dated Oct. 27, 2021, Aglipay-Villar said the motion to dismiss filed by Sanchez based on the affidavit of desistance of the private complainant is “unmeritorious.”
“As a general rule, courts view unfavorably affidavits of desistance or a recantation of a victim’s testimony, since they can be easily be obtained xxx” and that such affidavits are “viewed with suspicion and reservation.” Also, the Presiding Judge stated that the dismissal of a child abuse case is prohibited if made solely on the basis of an affidavit of desistance or recantation submitted by the child and/or the child’s family, citing the Protocol for Case Management of Child Victims of Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation and DOJ Circular No. 2002-54,” Aglipay-Villar said quoting the lower court’s order.
She added that “the Presiding Judge concluded that the affidavit of desistance did not exculpate the accused.”
The victim’s Affidavit of Desistance stated that she “‘decided not to pursue the case against Franco Sanchez anymore’ and that the misunderstanding and misapprehension of facts between them have already been patched up. The details were no longer narrated in the said affidavit,” she added.
Aglipay-Villar said the Taguig Court has also concluded the pre-trial and set the hearing for the presentation of the first witness on December 7.
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