MANILA, Philippines — Former Philippine Daily Inquirer provincial correspondent Jofelle Tesorio did not post bail, contrary to earlier reports, and that was why she was detained for 10 hours last week, court records showed.
Tesorio, facing libel charges filed by a Palawan congressman four years ago, could have avoided detention to the Quezon City Female Dormitory had she posted bail immediately after receiving an order early this year revoking her bail bond, said court staffers who showed the Philippine Daily Inquirer the records.
The records of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 81 under Judge Maria Teresa Yadao showed that on Dec. 13, the judge issued an arrest warrant for Tesorio, who had failed to appear at the hearing scheduled that day, and revoked her P10,000 bond. The bond was doubled.
Tesorio, who now works for Asia News Network in Thailand, filed a motion for reconsideration of the order, explaining that she was unable to attend the hearing because she was in Hong Kong for a series of lectures. She attached her plane tickets, which indicated the date of her departure from the country on Dec. 9 and her return on Dec. 18.
She told the court, through her lawyer, that she attempted to catch a plane back to the country in time for the hearing but all flights were fully booked.
The judge denied the motion for lack of merit on Jan. 29 because the plane ticket itself indicated that the accused had no intention of returning to the country for the Dec. 13 hearing.
During the June 21 hearing, it was learned that Tesorio did not post the P20,000 bail.
“She could have posted bail at any time between January 29 and June 21 but she did not. It is part of court procedure to order the commitment of a person who had not yet posted bail,” a staff member of Branch 81, who requested anonymity, explained.
Technically, Tesorio’s bail had not yet been posted when the judge issued the commitment order, she added.