Kua widow wants case out of Laguna courtBy Maricar Cinco |Inquirer Southern Luzon
SAN PEDRO, Laguna—The widow of former Philippine Tourism Authority chief and newspaper columnist Nixon Kua has asked a court in Laguna to stop its proceedings as she wanted her husband’s case transferred to a different trial court.
Susan Kua filed on Jan. 25 a motion to suspend court proceedings at Branch 35 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Calamba City, which is hearing the robbery-slay case of Kua in July 2012.
The Kuas earlier also filed a petition at the Supreme Court and the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the immediate transfer of venue to a court in Makati City.
In her petition before the RTC, Susan expressed fear of a possible “miscarriage of justice” and accused Calamba City Chief Prosecutor Samuel Noel Ocampo of being biased in favor of the defendants.
Ocampo cried foul over the accusation and said they could not suspend the proceedings without an order from the DOJ.
Kua, 49, was killed by suspected robbers outside the house of his brother, Allyxon, in the upscale Ayala Greenfield Subdivision in Barangay (village) Maunong on July 23 last year. The robbers took off with the P90,000 cash contained in the bag of Kua’s daughter and left Allyxon wounded in the attack.
The Laguna police arrested John Rey Cortez, Darwin Saniano, Michael Molino and Noel Garcia, all in their early 20s, after being identified by witnesses.
Susan said she feared for the safety of their family and witnesses, who were being “harassed” by the relatives of the defendants, adding “it would be very difficult for them (the Kuas) to appear and attend the proceedings of the case with the evident danger to their safety and security.”
The defendants, she claimed, belonged to a criminal syndicate linked to slain suspected gambling lord Victor “Vic” Siman.
Siman, also from Maunong, was among the 13 people killed in the controversial police operation in Atimonan, Quezon, on Jan. 6.
Susan cited an incident in August when the enraged relatives held a rally at the courthouse “screaming [and] shouting invectives.”
“Considering the seemingly strong political connections of the accused, there is a strong possibility that the security and safety of our family and the witnesses would be at risk,” she said in an e-mailed statement.
But defense lawyer Ryan Muro, in a phone interview on Saturday, said the Kuas’ request would only “serve their own convenience.”
“My clients are just ordinary citizens while they are the ones who have the money. Why take away from the families their chance to visit my clients in jail?” Muro said, in case the DOJ allows the transfer of the defendants to a detention facility in Makati City.
“How was [the prosecutor] being biased? Their witnesses failed to show up on two to three occasions and [yet] they won the PI (preliminary investigation),” he added.