The perjury complaint against former UST Secretary General Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P., filed by the retired Justice Harriet Demetriou has been junked by the Office of the City Prosecutor – Makati (OCP - Makati) for insufficiency of evidence in a resolution released on Tuesday, Jan. 23.
According to the OCP – Makati resolution, Demetriou’s claims did not prove that Cabading committed perjury by its elements.
“Complainant’s bare allegations cannot be made a basis that respondent made a willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood in the petition for review,” as resolved by Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Crystal Dei Embido-Buenaventura.
On Dec. 9, 2022, Demetriou, a devotee of “Our Lady, Mary Mediatrix of All Grace,” filed a complaint with the Office of the City Prosecutor – Quezon City (OCP - Quezon City) against Cabading for allegedly mocking the “Marian apparition” in an online program. The OCP – Quezon City found probable cause and has indicted Fr. Cabading whose case is now pending before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.
The complainant claims that the former secretary general committed perjury after he executed and signed his Petition for Review before the Department of Justice.
The said petition states that the 1948 Marian Apparitions at a Carmelite monastery in Lipa City, Batangas, were declared to be "not of supernatural character," based on the Pius XII decree and the 2015 Decree of the then-Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which Pope Francis approved.
Included in the counter-affidavit of Cabading is the intent of harassment of the complainant in her refusal to recognize the existence of the decrees and that he has always gone by the official issuances of the Vatican.
Back at the Makati Prosecutor’s Office, Embido-Buenaventura finds “no probable cause” for continuing the case under Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code as Cabading merely reiterated the Vatican’s declarations and were not based on his opinions.
It could be recalled that the Dominican exorcist was detained from May 13 to 15, 2023, with bail due to Demetriou’s initial complaint.
On August 2023, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court released a ruling by Judge Madonna Echiverri declaring that the statements by the former UST administrator were not “offensive nor punishable by law,” instructing state prosecutors to revise the charge.