‘God be with you,’ Ramgen’s ma overheard telling Janelle
For the first time since the death of aspiring actor Ramgen Bautista, the two most important people in his life talked to each other Monday afternoon.
“May God be with you, Janelle,” Bautista’s mother, Genelyn Magsaysay, was overheard telling his girlfriend, Janelle Manahan, as the two crossed paths in the corridor outside the Parañaque Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 274 after the pretrial hearing on the murder and attempted murder case.
Manahan, who looked surprised, could only manage to say, “Thank you.”
This was the second time the two met after the victim’s death. The first was in December during the preliminary investigation of the case but they did not talk to each other.
“I was quite surprised… this is the first time that she told me something so I did not know what my reaction would be,” Manahan said.
Relations between the two women became strained after Manahan accused Magsaysay’s other children—Maria Ramona “Mara,” Ramon Joseph, or RJ, and Gail—of being behind the victim’s death and the attack on her that led to her confinement in a hospital for several weeks.
The exchange of words was unexpected because earlier, people attending the hearing in the sala of Parañaque RTC Branch 274 presiding Judge Fortunito Madrona saw Magsaysay, who had faithfully attended every hearing of the case to date, move to another bench when she saw Manahan arrive as if she wanted to avoid the latter.
Magsaysay later told reporters after the trial that she and Manahan couldn’t be seated near each other. “I might have wanted to greet her but people might think I’m just trying to get sympathy from Janelle Manahan.”
For her part, Manahan told reporters that Magsaysay’s deliberate attempt to avoid her was not unexpected.
“I was expecting that to happen, that we would not talk, we’ll just stare at each other and gauge each other’s reaction. It would be awkward if we talk because things are complicated now,” she said.
But if there is one thing the two agree on, both are happy that the case would finally be tackled on its merits.
“I want that because this would really hasten our quest for justice for the death of Ramgen,” Manahan said.
The lawyers representing the suspects in the case agreed Monday to set hearing dates until the end of the year and to conduct an inspection of the Bautistas’ house in BF Parañaque where Ramgen was killed.
Analuz Cristal, counsel for accused Roy Francis Tolisora and Michael Nartea, was the only one absent during the hearing. However, Judge Madrona allowed the pretrial to proceed, saying that Cristal would be notified should she want to schedule a separate pretrial for her clients.
Three dates from June to July have been set for the hearing on the accused’s petition for bail with the rest of the dates set for hearing testimonies related to the case.
Manahan’s camp, led by Public Prosecutor Apolinar Quetulio, will present 29 witnesses, including Manahan, Magsaysay, several police investigators and seven others who were not named.
Meanwhile, RJ will testify in his defense, along with Magsaysay and Gail and four witnesses whose identities were not disclosed.
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