Arraignment of suspect in Ram Revilla slay case reset
MANILA, Philippines–The scheduled arraignment on Wednesday of Ramon Joseph “RJ” Bautista to answer the charges of murder and frustrated murder against him has been reset to Jan. 17, 2012 to give the presiding court time to resolve pending motions filed by his lawyer before he pleads guilty or not guilty.
Bautista has been tagged as the alleged mastermind behind the murder of his brother, Ramgen Bautista, on Oct. 28 in BF Homes, Paranaque City.
The 18-year-old suspect, who wore a black hooded jacket and covered his face with a towel, was escorted by 15 prison guards from the Paranaque City Jail and brought to Paranaque Regional Trial Court Branch 274.
His mother Genelyn Magsaysay and sisters Ragene and Gail also appeared minutes before the hearing started at 8:30am.
Bautista’s lawyer, Dennis Manzanal, filed a motion to quash last week, saying the court under Judge Fortunito Madrona has no jurisdiction over the charges.
“Jurisdiction over [Bautista] is set only upon voluntary surrender or lawful arrest,” said Manzanal in the motion.
Manzanal said Bautista’s arrest on Nov. 1 was “illegal” but operatives from the Paranaque police said they caught the suspect under “hot pursuit.”
The motion requires trial prosecutor Apolinar Quetulio Jr. from the Paranaque prosecutors’ office to answer the motion within 20 days and five more days for Manzanal to reply.
“If the motion is granted, RJ will be exonerated, give me time to give the proper comment” said Quetulio.
He added that in that hearing, the other suspects–Michael Jay Nartea and Roy Francis Tolisora– might be arraigned on the same day next year.
The other suspects–Ramona Bautista, Glaiza Visda, Norwin Dela Cruz and a certain Bryan–are still scheduled for preliminary investigation before they will be included in the arraignment next year.
Manzanal also withdrew his motion for preliminary investigation for RJ because it is “moot”, according to Quetulio.
The court also takes into account the Christmas break and inventory from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 next year for the rescheduled arraignment.
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