MANILA, Philippines – Actress Katrina Halili sees as a challenge the court’s decision to dismiss the case she filed against cosmetic surgeon Hayden Kho, her legal counsel Atty. Raymund Palad told ABS-CBN News on Thursday.
In an interview, Palad revealed that Halili took the decision of the Pasig Regional Trial Court calmly when he informed the actress of what happened.
“Ang alam ko nasa taping siya. Pero after ng hearing kahapon, umuwi muna siya sa bahay. Noong binulong ko sa kanya na nayari tayo, dinismiss 'yung kaso, ang first question niya is, siyempre hindi naman siya legalistic, tanong niya anong nangyari. Nung pinaliwanag ko, ang sagot niya lang sa akin ngumiti tapos ang sabi pagsubok lang. So parang siya pa 'yung nagsabi sa ‘kin na relax, pagsubok lang,” Palad recounted.
He disclosed that despite the case’s dismissal, his relationship with Halili as her legal counsel seemed to be not affected at all.
Palad explained that while the court junked their case against Kho for a sex video scandal that gripped headlines, the cosmetic surgeon still cannot be considered not guilty. This is because the case was only dismissed due to lack of evidence.
Don't talk to Kho
He also said that he would not advise his client to talk privately to Kho. “Hindi siguro, I would not advise. I would not advise. I think si Ms. Halili pati the family, I would not recommend na mag-kiss and make up sila na walang camera. He can do that kahapon sa korte. Dapat ginawa niya ‘yun eh,” he said.
According to Palad, they are not raising their white flag yet as they are still considering other legal remedies that could be done to keep the case on track. He also said other lawyers from established law firms have offered advice in support of their end.
“Hindi pa naman kami sumu-surrender. Maraming lawyers na tumatawag kanina from big law firms nagbibigay ng thoughts on how to remedy the situation. I would not name names pero sabi nila ito ang tamang direksyon kung ano ang tamang gawin para manatiling buhay 'yung kaso.
"So parang nakaisa lang sila dun sa nangyari pero hindi pa kami nag-gi-give up. Kasi may mga legal remedies pa under the law na puwede naming gawin. Siguro we will make that known this week or as soon as possible,” he said.
Palad also emphasized that it's not true that just because the case was dismissed, Kho could now possibly get his medical license back.
He explained that the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) decides independently of the criminal case. He stressed that the PRC revoked Kho’s license not on the basis of whether he is guilty or not guilty, but because of his issue on morality, decency and ethical standards.
“Maaaring nakalusot ka sa mata ng batas pero sa mata ng PRC, immorality ang kasalanan mo, dishonest ka o kaya bastos ka o kaya indecent ka,” Palad stated.
Judge Rodolfo Bonifacio of Pasig RTC Branch 159 threw out Halili’s case after the prosecution failed to submit enough evidence to prove that Kho was responsible for uploading the sex videos.
Although the court is not condoning the recording of the sex video, Bonifacio pointed out that videotaping their sexual intercourse should not cause any emotional or psychological distress to Halili since both parties were aware that it was taking place.