Manila RTC to issue decision Wednesday on 2 kidnapping cases in 2000, 2007By Erika Sauler
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 5 will issue a decision on Wednesday on two separate kidnapping cases involving a 5-year-old girl and her nanny who died of suffocation in 2000 and a 7-year-old girl who was found stuffed inside a suitcase in 2007.
Emily Chuang, mother of 5-year-old Eunice Kaye Chuang, was disappointed because the promulgation was scheduled on Monday.
“I’m anxious for three days now since they called me that there will be a decision,” Chuang earlier said on Monday while waiting for the promulgation, only to be told that it will be reset on Wednesday because Judge Jansen Rodriguez did not finish the decision.
Judge Rodriguez of Branch 6 is the pairing judge of Branch 5 whose presiding judge retired last year and the succeeding acting judge retired in August.
“He was thinking he could finish the decision over the weekend. The problem was he took home five cases for decision. He has a draft already but he would just have to make some corrections,” the clerk of
Twelve years after the death of Eunice, Chuang still gets teary eyed at the mention of her daughter.
Eunice and her babysitter, then 27-year-old Jovita Montecino, went missing on Oct. 17, 2000, after a taxi driver fetched them from Philippine San Bin School in Binondo, Manila, where Eunice was a kindergarten pupil.
Chuang said that she received a phone call at 6 a.m. the following day but only heard a crying girl. She later saw Eunice at 7:30 p.m. at the police crime laboratory, dead for seven hours already.
The taxi driver, Monico Santos, and his cousin Francis Canoza were jailed after the Bulacan police and members of the then Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force discovered the bodies in the ceiling of Santos’ house in Villa Tierra Subdivision in Malolos, Bulacan. They were charged with kidnapping with double homicide.
Eunice and Montecino died from suffocation when they were hogtied, gagged and hidden in the ceiling while negotiation for their ransom was ongoing. Police also found out that Montecino was raped.
Santos and Canoza on Monday said the trial was biased to the influential and moneyed people. Canoza maintained that he did not do anything wrong.
“He (Santos) was the prime suspect and [authorities] looked at his cell phone’s phonebook and picked my name. Maybe because I’m a younger cousin,” Canoza told reporters.
“I will accept whatever God will give us. In 12 years I was in jail, all I did was work to be able to send money to my family,” said Canoza, who got teary-eyed at that point.
The other case involved 7-year-old Geraldine “Dindin” Palma, whose half-naked body was found inside a luggage bag floating on Manila Bay at North Harbor in Tondo in August 2007. She was raped and strangled with an electrical cord.
A DNA test conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation concluded that the bloated decomposing body was indeed Palma. Police had doubts about the body’s identity because of height discrepancy and another girl was also missing at that time.
Henry Redoblado, Joey Nodalo, Renato Bohol and Ramil Diorico are facing rape with homicide charges for the Palma case. Nodalo and Bohol were also slapped with kidnap for ransom charges.