THE MAKATI prosecutor’s office has junked the perjury complaint filed against former UST secretary general Fr. Winston Cabading, O.P. after finding “no probable cause.” 

In a three-page resolution dated Jan. 19, Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Crystal Dei Embido-Buenaventura dropped the complaint filed by retired Sandiganbayan justice Harriet Demetriou, who had accused Cabading of making false statements under oath. 

The perjury complaint stemmed from the original criminal complaint for “offending religious feelings” filed by Demetriou, a devotee of “Our Lady, Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace,” against Cabading in December 2022. 

Prosecutors upheld Demetriou’s complaint and filed a case against Cabading before a Quezon City court in April 2023.

On May 27, 2023, the Dominican priest filed a petition before the Department of Justice (DOJ) to review the prosecutors’ decision.

Demetriou then accused Cabading of making false statements in his DOJ petition when he mentioned a 1951 papal decree declaring the 1948 Lipa Marian Apparitions as “not of supernatural character” and a 2015 decree of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith approved by Pope Francis that upheld the findings of the older decree. 

In her resolution, Embido-Buenaventura said Cabading merely reiterated the Vatican declarations.

“There is no proof or any document which supports the claim of the complainant (Demetriou) that respondent’s (Cabading) statements in the said petition are false,” the resolution read. 

Cabading said in his counter-affidavit to the perjury complaint that the Vatican documents he had cited were “duly established and proven.”

According to the resolution, the former UST administrator did not make a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood in a statement or affidavit, one of the elements that constitute perjury.  

“Complainant’s bare allegations cannot be made a basis that respondent made a willful and deliberate assertion of falsehood in the petition for review,” it said. 

Demetriou had accused the Dominican priest of mocking the devotion to Our Lady, Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace in Lipa, Batangas in an online program.

Because the crime can be penalized under Article 133 of the Revised Penal Code, the exorcist priest was arrested on May 13, 2023 but was later released on bail.

In August 2023, the Quezon City Regional Trial Court tossed the criminal charge for “offending religious feelings” back to prosecutors after it found that Cabading’s stance was “not a personal conviction but that which is stated by the Vatican.” With reports from Ernest Martin G. Tuazon


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