Motion to reverse ruling on 2009 Ruby Rose murder denied
MANILA, Philippines — The family of Ruby Rose Barrameda, the woman whose body was encased in cement in a steel drum and later thrown into the Navotas River in 2009, will be spending Christmas without the justice they have been seeking for 10 years.
In a court order dated Nov. 28 and released last Monday, Judge Zaldy Docena of the Malabon Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 170 denied the prosecution’s motion for reconsideration to reverse acting Presiding Judge Edwin Larida Jr.’s Aug. 15 decision dismissing the murder and parricide charges filed against Barrameda’s estranged husband and father-in-law.
“Indeed, what this court — through acting Presiding Judge Larida, has determined up to and when it dismissed the case is that the evidence thus far admitted (and forming part of the record of this case) against accused [Manuel] Jimenez III was utterly insufficient for the issuance of warrant of arrest and the further prosecution of said accused,” the Nov. 28 order said.
Larida also dismissed the case against Barrameda’s father-in-law, Manuel Jimenez Jr., and coaccused Leonard “Spyke” Descalso and Norberto Ponce in an order dated July 10.
Docena reiterated Larida’s decision that the court could not rely solely on the sworn statement of former star witness Manuel Montero linking Jimenez III and Jimenez Jr. to the murder.
To this day, the Barramedas are still awaiting the return of Montero, who disappeared in March 2013 after recanting his statement against the Jimenezes through a handwritten letter, “for being untruthful and that he is not willing to testify.”
On Sept. 23, the prosecution filed a motion for reconsideration with prayer for inhibition of Larida for “grave abuse of discretion and authority” and “error in judgment” for allegedly ignoring the decisions of four government offices that ruled that there was probable cause against the accused.
The Department of Justice’s ruling was sustained by the Office of the President, Court of Appeals and Supreme Court.
Although the court denied the accusations, Larida inhibited himself from the case on Sept. 27, saying that his appointment as acting presiding judge was to be terminated.
Larida took over as acting presiding judge of Malabon RTC Branch 170 after the Supreme Court suspended Docena in 2017 for two years for “irregular issuance of search warrants.”
In his return this year, Docena maintained that the court had “neither error of judgment nor of jurisdiction—and not even grave abuse of discretion.”
In a separate order dated Dec. 11, Docena granted Lope Jimenez and Ereneo Fernandez’s motion to cancel the warrants of arrest issued against them for lack of probable cause, dismissing the murder raps filed against them.
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