Genelyn says ‘hallelujah’ as judge asks witness: Are you lying?By Nathaniel R. Melican
Philippine Daily Inquirer
At the end of Tuesday’s hearing on the Ramgen Bautista murder case, it was presiding Judge Fortunito Madrona of the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court Branch 274 who asked the question that surprised everyone inside the courtroom.
After looking over his case notes, Madrona looked at Ruel Puzon, the star witness who claimed he was present when the suspects hatched the plot to kill the victim and asked him, “Are you just making up everything you’re saying?”
The question was greeted with muffled laughter and whispers while Genelyn Magsaysay, mother of Ramgen and two of the suspects—Maria Ramona (Mara) and Ramon Joseph (RJ)—exclaimed: “Hallelujah!”
Puzon, who had just been cross examined, faced Madrona and said: “No, sir. They were the ones who told me about the plan and I was with them when they came up with it.”
He said that he was referring particularly to the other accused whom he identified as Ryan Pastera, Michael Nartea, Norwin dela Cruz, and Glaiza Visda.
After the hearing, Magsaysay, who maintained that her children Mara and RJ were innocent of the murder and frustrated murder charges filed against them, was jubilant over the question posed by the judge.
“That meant that we have successfully placed doubt in the mind of the judge. It was the one which really struck me the most,” she told reporters.
Before posing the question to Puzon, the judge had asked him about the role he was supposed to play in Bautista’s killing.
“I was supposed to be the driver of a motorcycle … A rider, who we decided would be Michael [Nartea], would be the one to shoot Ramgen,” Puzon told the judge.
Next, the judge asked him if the group ever tried to get in touch with him after he stopped going to their meetings.
“I was no longer contacted by the group after … the Oct. 19 meeting,” Puzon said. The judge, however, seemed to find it hard to believe. “You were not called? There were no more calls?” he asked. Puzon again replied in the negative.
Earlier, Melinda Salcedo, Pastera’s lawyer, cross-examined Puzon and pointed to purported discrepancies among his three sworn statements and his testimony earlier this month.