Suspect in Ruby Rose Barrameda slay asks CA to review murder rap anew | Inquirer News

Suspect in Ruby Rose Barrameda slay asks CA to review murder rap anew

/ 07:56 PM November 03, 2015

MANILA, Philippines — The lawyer of one of the suspects in the killing of Ruby Rose Barrameda has asked the Court of Appeals to reconsider its earlier decision upholding the Department of Justice’s filing of charges against his client in connection with her death.

In an 11-page motion for reconsideration filed at the appellate court on Oct. 19, Paul Lentejas, Lope Jimenez’s lawyer, asked the fourth division to reverse its Sept. 21 decision that upheld the murder charge against him (Jimenez) on the basis that “courts of law (were) precluded from disturbing the findings of public prosecutors and the DOJ unless such findings are tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction.”

According to Lentejas, in the first place, there was “nothing more upon which (the court) may rely on in upholding the validity, adequacy and propriety” of the murder charge since Manuel Montero, an accused who later turned state witness, has left the Witness Protection Program and has withdrawn his testimony — both written and oral — that implicated Jimenez and the other accused in the crime.


Lentejas added based on legal “doctrine,” it was “equally” the duty of the trial courts, including the Court of Appeals, to “dismiss the case of an accused at the very first opportunity that it finds that there is absolutely nothing more to hold him for trial for a crime.”


In Salonga versus Cruz-Paño, for example, he said the court ruled that when there was “no prima facie case” against a person sought to be charged, the judge or fiscal should “not go on with the prosecution in the hope that some credible evidence might later turn out during trial for this would be a violation of a basic right which the courts are created to uphold.”

“Why should this Honorable Court not order the immediate dismissal of the case against herein petitioner (Jimenez) and protect him from an open and public trial when the paucity and lameness of Montero’s (testimony) is now clear and apparent?” Lentejas asked, also noting that Jimenez had no motive to have the victim killed.

Lentejas also rejected the fourth division’s argument then that issues about motive, hearsay and other circumstances were “proper matters to be threshed out during trial.”

He said there were “many instances” where prosecutors, including the Secretary of Justice, were “called upon to delve into all these matters during preliminary investigation.”

The lawyer also rejected the division’s finding that his client was a “fugitive from justice” and therefore had “no right to file the instant petition and obtain positive relief from the courts…”

“(That) is neither here nor there. How can petitioner (Jimenez) be considered a fugitive when he fought this (murder) complaint with the DOJ by filing his counter-affidavit as well as that of his witnesses and when the information was filed with the trial court, he immediately brought the instant petition precisely to question the issuance of the warrant of arrest against him due to the improper finding of probable cause against him? He did not waiver, he continued to fight for his liberty,” Lentejas said.


He noted that Jimenez was “in the same position” as former Senator Panfilo Lacson, who fought against the filing of criminal charges against him for the murder of Bobby Dacer.

“And while he was questioning the issuance of the warrant for his arrest with the Court of Appeals, he also evaded arrest during the entire certiorari proceedings with the appellate court until he eventually obtained a favorable decision from it. What is good for the goose is good for the gander!” Lentejas said.

“Wherefore, premises considered, petitioner respectfully prays that this Honorable Court take a second look at its decision datedSept. 21, reverse (this) and grant all the prayer of the instant petition by ordering the dismissal of (the murder charge) against herein petitioner,” he added.

Barrameda, sister of beauty queen Rochelle Barrameda, went missing from Las Piñas in March 2007.

Her body was found encased in a steel drum off the waters of Navotas in 2009.

Montero later came forward and implicated Jimenez; her estranged husband, Manuel Jimenez III; father-in-law Manuel Jimenez Jr.; Eric Fernandez; Norberto Ponce; and Lennard Descalso, who were all subsequently charged.

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Montero, however, went missing in March 2013, and retracted his statements.  SFM

TAGS: Court of Appeals, court ruling, courts, Crime, Justice, law, litigation, Lope Jimenez, Murder, News, State witness, trials

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