Latest Stories

Barramedas on losing witness: How much?


The loved ones of murder victim Ruby Rose Barrameda—(in white, from left) father Robert, mother Asuncion and sister Rochelle—vow to keep fighting for justice as they mark the sixth anniversary of her death on Thursday. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

The last time he spoke with the family of the slain Ruby Rose Barrameda, the supposed star witness in the gruesome murder case claimed that his life was in danger. This was despite his being in a safe house within a police camp under the justice department’s Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Two weeks later, Manuel Montero wrote the court to recant his statements and reportedly left the WPP, prompting a member of the Barrameda family to ask: “How much? How much did it take to buy the principles you used to have?”

In a press conference on Thursday, the sixth anniversary of Ruby Rose’s death, the victim’s sister Rochelle Barrameda aired suspicions that the man who could help the family obtain justice had backtracked because he was paid, if not threatened with harm.

“I’ve read the statement (of his recantation). He now claims he does not to know anything. But why was he so detailed back then?” she said, adding:

“When we were opening the steel drum (containing Ruby Rose’s body), he was even texting me: “Don’t break it open there, you might hit Ruby Rose’s head. Not there, you might hit her back.’ He knew the exact position of her body inside the drum,” Rochelle said.

Later in an Inquirer interview, Rochelle said the last time she saw Montero was two weeks ago at his safe house since 2010, the office of the Intelligence and Operations Unit of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

Last conversation

“We talked about him wanting to transfer to another safe house,” she recalled. “He said ‘there were people who have been hovering around. If I am not transferred soon, I will die here.’”

In 2009, two years after Ruby Rose went missing, Montero surrendered to authorities and pointed them to the location of the sealed drum bearing her remains in the waters off Navotas City.

Montero also issued affidavits saying he and three other men were given orders to kill Ruby Rose by her own father-in-law Manuel Jimenez Jr. and his brother Lope Jimenez, who were then looking out for the interest of the victim’s husband Manuel Jimenez III. Ruby Rose and Jimenez III were then locked in a child custody battle.

In a statement, Lope Jimenez’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, hit back at Rochelle for insinuating that Montero had been bribed.

“We would like to challenge [the Barramedas’] holier-than-thou attitude by asking them [to] put up or shut up. If you cannot prove what you are saying, then in the name of all that is holy, please say nothing at all,” Topacio said.

“[Montero], in withdrawing his previous statements, has said that he was bothered by his conscience. That is his privilege, nay, his right. The Barramedas cynically impute baser motives.

ASUNCION Barrameda, mother of the slain Ruby Rose, is overcome with emotion during Mass. NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

That is also their right but their misfortune as well if they cannot see beyond the blinders of their own hate and refuse to believe that other people can actually feel remorse,” the lawyer added.

Rochelle and members of Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption marked the 6th anniversary of Ruby Rose’s death with a Mass at the University of Perpetual Help in Las Piñas City, where Ruby Rose finished Mass Communications in 1997. Students, teachers and university officials also packed the venue.

A father’s plea

The victim’s father Robert called out to Montero: “Wherever you are, Manny Montero, this is your ‘tatay’ (father) who you always used to embrace. You promised us you would not leave us until the end.”

“If you are still alive, know that we are still here believing the commitment you made to us. We will continue to fight,” Robert said.

According to Rochelle, her family learned that Montero left the NCRPO’s protective custody late last week, or days before Montero sent a notice of withdrawal to the court on Tuesday.

Rochelle challenged Montero to “come out and prove that the Jimenezes really have nothing to do with this… for everyone’s peace of mind.”

She expressed confidence that the case will still be resolved in her family’s favor. “If our opponents think the fight is over, they’re wrong. Don’t celebrate yet because we will prove that even without Montero our evidence is strong. We will send to jail whoever killed my sister,” she said.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the NCRPO explained that since Montero was not a detainee, he could stay in or leave the Intelligence Operations Unit office as he pleases.

‘’We are waiting for orders from the DOJ (Department of Justice),” Chief Insp. Kimberly Molitas said when asked if efforts were being made to look for Montero.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Camp Bagong Diwa , Manuel Montero , national Capital Region Police Office , NCRPO , Rochelle Barrameda , Ruby Rose Barrameda , witness protection program

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  5. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  6. Town, DENR play tug-of-war over crocodile
  7. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  9. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  10. Motorcycle race ends in shooting; 1 killed, 6 hurt
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. Massage attendant arrested on rape complaint filed by Japanese tourist
  3. ‘Tell no one’ Makati bettor won P250M lotto
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  6. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  7. North Korea uses flamethrower to execute official
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  10. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Australian state leader quits over $2,800 wine
  • Supremacist faces murder charges in Kansas deaths
  • Luzon grid power reserve ‘enough’ for Holy Week
  • Pimentel proposes incentives for companies that will hire ex-convicts
  • State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  • Sports

  • My ideal weight is 140, declares Pacquiao
  • Freddie Roach: I’m satisfied; Manny Pacquiao did well
  • New-look Azkals tie Qatari side
  • San Miguel Beermen eye No. 2 slot, battle Air21 Express
  • Filipinos yield to Iraqis anew Asian club volley
  • Lifestyle

  • Celebrate Easter Sunday at Buddha-Bar Manila
  • Moriones feast: A slow, steady transformation
  • Weaving ‘palaspas’ a tradition kept alive in Tayabas City
  • Finalists announced for best translated books
  • Summer treat for your aspiring astronomers
  • Entertainment

  • Deniece Cornejo posts bail—report
  • Miley Cyrus hospitalized, cancels US concert
  • Otaku Summer Jam 2014: Summer’s hottest J-rock/Cosplay event
  • 2NE1 returns to Manila with “All Or Nothing” Tour
  • Gary Valenciano just keeps moving
  • Business

  • Longer TRO sought on rate hike
  • Make a stylish statement with the all-new Yaris
  • Hearing set in Olarte case
  • BOC sues steel importers
  • BIR continues to miss collection target
  • Technology

  • Tech company: change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Philippines may watch ‘blood moon’ online
  • Opinion

  • We may never know
  • Couple of things
  • Mommy D’s magic
  • Stop bizarre and bloody Good Friday rituals
  • Holy Week taboos
  • Global Nation

  • No travel restrictions to Middle East amid MERS-CoV scare
  • Measures set against entry of MERS-CoV
  • Japan backs PH in case before UN
  • Las Vegas union starts pickets over wages, benefits
  • Fil-Am Daly City councilor has eye on Superior Court seat
  • Marketplace