Flight not sign of guilt: Twins acquittedBy Julie M. Aurelio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
A Quezon City court has acquitted two sisters who went into hiding after being charged with qualified theft by a woman who employed them as maids.
The court cited the prosecution’s failure to present the items that were purportedly recovered from the sisters after they were caught and forced by their employer to admit the crime in writing.
Assisting Judge Genie Gapas-Agbada of Regional Trial Court Branch 221 cleared the twins Monica and Liza Tesoro, who were tried in absentia following their arraignment for allegedly taking their employer’s cash, jewelry and other personal items worth around P1 million.
“The accused may have jumped bail, but flight must not always be attributed to one’s consciousness of guilt,” Agbada said in the decision.
The court said the prosecution failed to prove the twins’ guilt beyond reasonable doubt, as it was unable to present the recovered items that the Tesoro twins allegedly stole in March 2005 from Lolita Swa-Ong, a resident of Ayala Heights, Quezon City.
It turned out that Ong had already donated those items to the relief drive for the victims of Tropical Storm “Ondoy” in 2009.
Aside from presenting a witness, the prosecution produced a handwritten admission purportedly written by the twins, which the court dismissed as having no probative value.
“The prosecution merely presented the uncorroborated testimony of the complainant that said admissions were executed by the accused,” the court noted.