PAO replaces lawyers handling Ruby Rose murder case

September 22, 2009 10:17 am 

MANILA, Sept. 22 – MANILA, Sept. 22 (PNA) – Public Attorney's Office (PAO) chief Persida Rueda-Acosta today replaced the PAO lawyers assigned to handle the Ruby Rose Barrameda-Jimenez murder case.

Acosta said the move was part of a reshuffle of PAO lawyers aimed at avoiding any aspersion, or put any color in the case, considering that the replaced lawyers had long been assigned in Malabon, wherein the influence of the Jimenez family were known.

The PAO is an attached agency of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Ruby Rose, a sister of beauty queen and actress Rachelle Barrameda, went missing in March 2007. Her cadaver was found stuffed in a cemented drum in a metal container buried off the waters of Manila Bay on June 10, 2009.

Acosta assigned lawyers Howard Areza, Rowelyn Dacparo and Patrick Duran as new legal counsels of prosecution witness Manuel Montero.

However, Acosta did not identify those who were replaced by the three newly-designated PAO lawyers.

The DOJ has filed murder charges against Montero; lawyer Manuel Jimenez, Jr., the father-in-law of Ruby Rose; Lope Jimenez, brother of Atty. Jimenez; and three others before the Malabon City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Acosta challenged lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, the legal counsel of one of the accused, to prove his allegations that Montero was using illegal drugs.

The witness of the defense claimed that Montero was into drugs together with Ruby Rose, alleging that they had an affair that gone awry that led to her killing.

Montero was the one who provided information to the authorities that led to the discovery of the cadaver of Ruby Rose.

Montero admitted participation and involvement in the abduction and killing of Ruby Rose. He expressed his intention and willingness to turn state witness in the case.

He pointed to the Jimenez family as the alleged mastermind in the gruesome killing.

Acosta also revealed that she received threats to her life, believing that such threats have something to do with the Ruby Rose case.

Acosta claimed that last Thursday (Sept. 17) at about 12:45 p.m. in the afternoon, she received an anonymous text message which said that her house would be bombed.

During that time, the wife and an in-law of Montero, including Rochelle Barrameda, the sister of Ruby Rose, were about to meet the PAO chief. (PNA)

RMA/PTR

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