Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ramona's trial in absentia starts today

MANILA, Philippines - The preliminary investigation of the murder and frustrated murder charges against Ma. Ramona Bautista for the killing of her elder brother Ram Revilla (real name Ramgen Bautista) will start this afternoon at the ParaƱaque City prosecutor’s office.
“It will be a hearing in absentia. If she will not appear, the hearing will be based on the evidence,” a source from the Office of the Prosecutor told The STAR.
Assistant City Prosecutor Leah Roma is handling the investigation.
Ramona or her lawyer will be given 15 days to attend the preliminary investigation or the case will be filed in court based on “uncontroverted” evidence, the source said.
“She cannot say she was denied due process,” the source added.
Ramona flew to Hong Kong on Friday, hours after recanting her statement that her brother’s attacker kidnapped her.
In a taped video, Ramona claimed that she made up the story because she felt guilty that she left her brother and his girlfriend Janelle Manahan after the attack.
‘Dismiss raps vs Ramon Joseph’
Meanwhile, the lawyer of Ramon Joseph Bautista, the principal suspect in the killing of Revilla, meanwhile, asked the court yesterday to release his client and dismiss the criminal charges filed against him.
In a motion to quash the case, lawyer Dennis Manzanal insisted that Bautista was “not lawfully arrested” because the arresting officers “did not have personal knowledge of the crime committed at the residence of the accused.”
“The circumstances attendant to this case, particularly the facts upon which the police officers arrested (Bautista) were the product of their investigation and never of their own personal knowledge,” Manzanal said.
He added that the knowledge of star witness Ruel Puzon in the crime is limited to its planning and not the execution.
“And since jurisdiction over the person accused is acquired only upon his voluntary surrender or lawful arrest, which clearly neither exists in this case the herein accused respectfully pleads to this honorable court to declare the invalidity of his arrest and further quash the information against him for lack of jurisdiction,” according to the the motion.
Manzanal also asked to the court to let his client avail of the “regular preliminary investigation.”
He earlier declined to join the inquest proceedings for Bautista and the two alleged gunmen, Michael Nartae and Roy Francis Tolisora.

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