Preliminary probe on Ramgen case deferred to Wednesday

November 8, 2011 11:14 pm 

MANILA, Nov. 8 — The absence of lawyers of the two suspects in the murder of actor Ramgen “Ram” Jose Bautista Revilla led to the re-scheduling of the preliminary investigation on Tuesday of the case even as another suspect, Ramgen’s brother Ramon Joseph “RJ” Bautista skipped attendance after waiving his right to undergo such procedure.

The Paranaque prosecutors office decided to reschedule Tuesday’s preliminary probe on the murder and frustrated murders charges due to the absence of the lawyers of Michael Nartea (not Altea as earlier reported) and Roy Francis “Kiko” Tolisora.

The preliminary investigation was supposed to start at 2 p.m. The two accused arrived at past 1 p.m., their faces hidden by hooded jackets and under heavy security by members of the Paranaque police. They did not grant any interviews or answer questions thrown by members of the media who gathered to cover the event.

Prosecutor Leah Roma said the preliminary probe would instead be held on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

RJ’s lawyer, Dennis Manansal said his client’s absence was due to their pending petition questioning the basis of his detention and he reiterated that what the police had done constituted a warrant-less arrest and was not part of a hot pursuit operations as what the Paranaque police had said.

Despite his absence, the case against him was raffled off to the sala of Paranaque City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 274 Judge Fortunato Madrona.

The court has set his arraignment at 8:30 in the morning of Nov. 16.

Branch 274 was the same court that tried the suspects in the celebrated Vizconde massacre case, which also happened inside BF Homes – the same subdivision where Ramgen was killed.

At the time of the Vizconde massacre case hearing, Branch 274 was presided by Judge Amelita Tolentino.

Aside from the three, the police have also implicated Ramgen’s sister, Ma. Ramona Belen Bautista and three other suspects, a certain Glyza Vista, Norwin “Toto” De La Cruz and a certain Bryan.

Ramona has fled the country last week after admitting in a television interview that she lied to the police on her claim that her brother’s assailants abducted her when they fled the crime scene.

At the same time, she denied any knowledge or participation in the crime and even pointed to Ramgen’s personal assistant of five years, Ronaldo Ancajas as the one who may have a hand in his death.

Ancajas have alleged that Ramgen and his siblings had a rivalry related to the family allowance that they were receiving from their father, former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr.

Ramgen was shot and stabbed dead last Oct. 28 inside his residence at BF Homes, Paranaque City. His girlfriend, Janelle Ann Caren Manahan, who was also shot by the suspects, survived the attack and is now recovering at the Asian Hospital and Medical Center after undergoing a facial reconstructive surgery Monday to correct the four facial fractures she sustained during the attack.

Task Force Ramgen chief, Chief Insp. Enrique Sy said they had received surrender feelers from Vista’s camp but added they were still verifying its authenticity.

“Binibiripika pa natin kung siya nga ang nagpapadala ng surrender feelers (we are still verifying the report if she’s the one who send the surrender feelers),” Sy said adding that they were just waiting for the court to issue the warrants for their arrests.

In a related development, Task Force Ramgen also presented to the prosecutors office Monday another witness that bolstered their case against Ramgen’s siblings.

Sy said Lloyd Comeda alias Lim told them that he was with the group of star witness Ruel Puzon and the other suspects who planned to kill Ramgen though the official did not say who hired Coveda and the other suspects.

“He (Coveda) was one of those who were hired to kill Ramgen,” Sy said adding that like Puzon, the former also backed-out from participating in the hit.

For his part, Paranaque police intelligence division chief, Chief Insp. Ferjen Torred said Comeda corroborated Puzon’s statement that he heard the suspects planning to kill Ramgen.

Aside from Comeda’s affidavit, police also presented to the prosecutors office Ramgen’s death certificate and additional affidavit from Ancajas.

The additional affidavit from Ramgen’s personal assistant involved his knowledge on the sibling differences about money.

Meanwhile, Laddielyn Madrigal, the grandmother of RJ and Ramona, insisted on Tuesday that they were innocent of the crime reiterating the statement of their mother, Genelyn Magsaysay that they had nothing to do with the killing.

Madrigal, who is Genelyn’s mother, said he felt pity for RJ and Ramona.

“Awang-awa po ako sa aking mga apo kasi inosente sila sa pinaparatang na krimen (I felt sad to my grandchildren they are innocent on the incident),” she said at the Paranaque City Hall. (PNA)

RMA/CLTC

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