Saturday, December 3, 2011

Two suspects in Ramgen slay want to become state witnesses

Two people linked to the brutal killing of Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.'s half-brother, Ramgen "Ram" Bautista, will ask the court to admit them as witnesses, not as suspects, their lawyer said Friday.   "Magbibigay kami ng rejoinder kasi pagsasama-samahin na natin lahat ng sinabi ng witnesses para ma-prove namin at ma-justify namin na itong si Glaiza at itong Norwin ay talagang witness lamang at hindi dapat maging accused at suspect dito sa kasong ito," Claire Castro, lawyer of suspects Glaiza Vista and Norwin dela Cruz, told GMA reporter Suzan Enriquez in an interview aired over GMA News TV's Quick Response Team (QRT) on Friday.   Castro said they intend to submit the rejoinder on Dec. 13, when the preliminary investigation on the case resumes.   "Ipapakita natin sa prosecutor na ang mga alam nito at ang mga mabibigay na information ng aking kliyente ay vital dito para maresolba yung kaso. [Ang rejoinder] ay gagawin namin para at least ‘yung proteskyon maibigay kaagad," she said.   Vista and Dela Cruz may face murder and frustrated murder charges for the fatal shooting and stabbing of Ramgen, 23, last October 28 in his ParaƱaque residence. Another victim, Ramgen's girlfriend Janelle Manahan, survived the attack.   The two suspects had claimed that they decided to turn themselves in last November due to alleged death threats against them. They also said they wish to clear their names from the killing of Ramgen.   Vista and Dela Cruz allegedly had contacts with the hired killers of Bautista.   But in a separate interview also on QRT, Manahan's lawyer Argee Guevarra told Enriquez the move to have the suspects admitted as state witnesses was "premature."   He said cases should still be filed against them and that they can let the court decide during the progress of the trial whether they do qualify as witnesses.   "If we evaluate their testimony and we are convinced that they are telling the truth, [and that they will be able to help in] prosecuting the masterminds behind this crime, we will not oppose. We will in fact join Attorney Claire Castro in asking for [it].  By all means we are amendable to that," he said in a Telephone interview.   Also implicated in the case are Ramgen's younger siblings — Ramona Bautista, 22, who fled the country days after the incident, and Ramon Joseph "RJ" Bautista, 18, who is in police custody.   Their mother, Genelyn Magsaysay, has denied that her children would resort to killing each other to settle their differences.   Apart from RJ, two other suspects — John Michael Nartea and Roy Francis Tolisora — are detained. Nartea and Tolisora, who allegedly carried out the attack on orders of RJ and Ramona, will be arraigned in January together with RJ.   Earlier in the day, Magsaysay submitted an authenticated copy of Ramona's counter-affidavit to the City Prosecutors Office in ParaƱaque City.  She was accompanied by her other children.   Manahan was supposed to submit her reply affidavit with the prosecutor's office, but had to back out because here face wound was bleeding, GMA reporter Saleema Refran quoted her camp as saying.   Guevarra, however, said it was also the decision of Manahan's legal team not to allow her to face the media and attended the investigation.   "Emotionally fragile siya at sa totoo lang ang kanyang balikat hindi pa naghihilom, naka-sling pa siya," he said.   He noted, however, that their client's affidavit will prove that Ramona was — supposedly — lying in her statements.   "Pupuntiryahin namin ang mga inconsistencies at mga bagay sa kanyang salaysay na pawang kasinungalingan," he said. — VS, GMA News


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