WHAT WENT BEFORE: Bar exams blast
ON SEPT. 26, 2010, an explosion rocked a portion of Taft Avenue near De La Salle University in Manila, where bar examinees and law graduates were holding street revelries to celebrate the last weekend of the bar exams.
The explosion left about 50 people hurt, including two female law students whose legs were later amputated. Ma. Antonia Raissa Dawn Laurel, then a San Sebastian College law sophomore, had to have both legs amputated below the knee, while Joanna Katrina Ledda, then a junior law student at San Beda College, had to have her lower left leg amputated. Both were 23 years old then.
In April this year, Laurel graduated with a law degree from Philippine Christian University in Manila. She is set to take the 2015 bar exams in November.
Laurel was among the private complainants who filed charges of multiple frustrated murder, multiple attempted murder and illegal possession of an explosive for the bar exams blast, in the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Suspected of having thrown the explosive, an MK 2 type fragmentation grenade, was Anthony Nepomuceno, then 27, a call center agent and a member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity.
On April 27, 2011, investigating prosecutor Gerard Gaerlan found probable cause to charge Nepomuceno with multiple frustrated murder, multiple attempted murder and illegal possession of an explosive.
In August this year, the Special Fourth Division of the Court of Appeals denied the petition for certiorari filed by Nepomuceno against the DOJ, National Bureau of Investigation, and the blast victims. The appellate court said the petition was not the proper remedy, but a petition for review before the secretary of justice.
“Even on the merits of the petition, we find… that the investigating prosecutor did not commit grave abuse of discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in recommending the filing of information against Nepomuceno,” the ruling said.
It added that the investigation carried out by Gaerlan was “essentially executive and not judicial in character.”
The questions raised by Nepomuceno on the credibility of the witnesses should be argued during the trial proper, the court said. Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives