DOJ wants cases consolidated vs accused in car racer’s murder
MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed a motion to consolidate the cases against Dalia Guerrero-Pastor—wife of slain international race car champion Ferdinand “Enzo” Pastor—and her alleged lover, businessman Domingo “Sandy” de Guzman III.
Judge Lita Tolentino-Genilo of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (QCRTC) Branch 91 is handling the parricide case against Dalia while De Guzman’s case is being heard by acting presiding Judge Luisito Cortez of the QCRTC Branch 85.
Cortez is also presiding over the case filed against the man who confessed to killing Enzo, PO2 Edgar Angel who, like De Guzman, has been charged with murder.
The 32-year-old Enzo was on his way to a race in Clark, Pampanga province, when he was shot dead by a motorcycle rider on June 12 last year at the intersection of Congressional and Visayas Avenues in Quezon City. The attack also wounded his aide, Paolo Salazar.
Angel, who was later arrested on a drug charge, suddenly confessed that he was the gunman and that Dalia and De Guzman had hired him to kill Enzo. Although he later recanted his statements, a DOJ prosecutor said there was “interlocking circumstantial evidence” to charge him and the couple.
There have been recent reports that Dalia may have already left the country for Malaysia.
In the motion for consolidation filed in the QCRTC Branch 85 on March 5, Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva asked that the cases “be assigned to only one branch of this court” since these “[were] closely related and inextricably interwoven with one another.”
According to her, the cases are “founded on the same facts” and “the prosecution will be presenting common evidence.”
Private prosecutor Leonardo Mendoza II on Tuesday welcomed the filing of the DOJ motion, saying they would have filed a similar petition had the justice department not done so.
He explained that Dalia’s legal counsel, Redemberto Villanueva, had filed a motion to dismiss the case against her on the grounds of forum shopping since there were cases pending against her in separate courts.
“She has a parricide case in Branch 91 and murder in Branch 85. Different terms but same circumstances and same evidence [will] be produced that is why it is forum shopping,” Villanueva said in an earlier interview.
Mendoza, however, stressed that only one case—for parricide—had been filed against Dalia.
De Guzman’s lawyer, Dennis Manalo, meanwhile, filed on Feb. 27 a motion for judicial determination of probable cause on the murder case pending against his client.
According to Manalo, “the determination of probable cause is a function of the judge. It is not for the provincial fiscal or prosecutor nor the election supervisor to ascertain.”
Mendoza, however, said the motion was unnecessary since “the court [was] duty-bound to determine probable cause. In fact, within 10 days it should come [out] with a resolution and issue a warrant of arrest.”
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