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New witness surfaces in Ramgen’s murder

Ram Revilla Twitter photo

A new witness has come forward to corroborate the initial testimony of a purported henchman who claimed to have plotted the killing of Ramgen Bautista with two of the victim’s siblings and five other people.

Lloyd Comeda swore to his statement before Assistant City Prosecutor Leah Roma on Tuesday afternoon, Chief Inspector Ferjen Torred, head of the Parañaque police intelligence unit, said over the phone.

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“The witness’ statement matches the initial testimony of our other witnesses,” Torred said. “He mentioned the names of the primary suspects who were involved in the plot and heard about the plan itself.”

But while he took part in plotting the hit on Ramgen, a scion of the Bautista-Revilla clan, Comeda backed out of the job, Torred said without elaborating.

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He said Comeda’s account basically reinforced the recollection of Roel Puzon, the primary witness in the case who had named the alleged plotters.

Ramgen (Ram Revilla in show biz) was shot and stabbed dead in the family residence on October 28.

According to Puzon’s sworn statement, Ramgen’s siblings, Ma. Ramona and Ramon Joseph (RJ) Bautista, 22 and 18 years old, respectively, masterminded the killing and sought the services of John Michael Nartea (not Altea, as earlier reported) and Roy Francis Tolisora for the hit.

At least three others are being sought by authorities—Glaiza Vista, Norwin de la Cruz and one alias Bryan.

100-percent sure

Chief Inspector Enrique Sy, the Parañaque police head investigator, said Ramgen’s personal assistant, Ronaldo Angcajas, presented a supplemental affidavit that covered the motive behind the crime.

The document is the basis of the police theory that Ramgen was killed over financial issues in the family, Sy said.

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Sy expressed confidence in the case buildup despite questions on the witnesses’ credibility.

Asked how certain he was in pinning the crime on the suspects, Sy replied: “One hundred percent.”

“We are standing by our investigation. They did it.”

He described Comeda as among the people who had offered “to kill Ramgen.”

Sy also said the scheduled preliminary investigation of Tolisora and Nartea did not push through yesterday afternoon because their lawyer did not show up.

Prosecutor Roma reset the investigation for Wednesday at 2 p.m., according to Sy.

Deep hatred

Also on Tuesday, the police investigators submitted to authorities Ramgen’s death certificate and autopsy report, which was prepared by forensic analysts of the National Bureau of Investigation.

The report stated that Ramgen had 10 stab wounds in various parts of the body, the most fatal of which was in the left side of the chest that pierced the heart.

Dr. Alvin David, head of the NBI medico-legal division, said the autopsy on Ramgen’s body showed deep hatred for the victim by his attackers, who repeatedly stabbed him and shot him once to ensure the kill.

The wounds killed the victim in two minutes, he said.

David also noted a gunshot wound in the right side of the chest, which was supposed to ensure the victim’s death as he was still presumably moving after he was repeatedly stabbed.

Motion denied

Fiber on the bullet recovered from Ramgen could have been from a pillow used to muffle the sound of gunfire, David said.

A source from the prosecutor’s office told the Inquirer that lawyer Dennis Manzanal’s omnibus motion for RJ’s immediate release had been “denied.”

“Otherwise, Bautista would have been freed by now from his detention cell,” said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity for lack of authority to discuss the case with reporters.

Copies of the resolution were given only to the immediate parties in the case, including the lawyers of both sides, the source said.

Manzanal filed last week the omnibus motion for RJ’s immediate release. He said his client’s arrest on November 1 was without benefit of a warrant and therefore “illegal.”

But Task Force Ramgen under Sy and Torred said the arrest was valid under the principle of “hot pursuit.”

Manzanal was present during the raffle of RJ’s murder and frustrated murder cases to Judge Fortunito L. Madrona of Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 274.

The raffle was held in the sala of Parañaque Executive Judge Brigido Artemon Luna II.

Manzanal declined to make any comment despite persistent requests from reporters.

RJ is charged with the murder of his brother Ramgen and the wounding of the latter’s girlfriend, Janelle Manahan. The cases are docketed as Cases No. 11-1169 and 11-1170.

Parañaque RTC Branch 274, then headed by Judge and now Court of Appeals Associate Judge Amelita Tolentino, heard the Vizconde massacre case in 1991.

Madrona was assigned in Ormoc, Leyte province, before he took over Tolentino’s position in 2003.

The arraignment has been set for November 16.

Originally posted: 10:05 pm | Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

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TAGS: Crime, criminal suspects, Judiciary, Justice, law, Lloyd Comeda, NBI, Police, Ram Revilla murder case, Ramgen Bautista, Ramgen Bautista a.k.a Ram Revilla, Ramon Joseph RJ Bautista, Ramona Bautista, Revilla Clan, Task Force Ramgen, witnesses
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