Another suspect in Ruby Rose slay falls
Sandy Araneta (The Philippine Star) - November 9, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - One of the accused in the killing of Ruby Rose Barrameda-Jimenez, sister of actress Rochelle Barrameda, was arrested by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents in Cauayan, Isabela Wednesday afternoon.

Robert Ponce was arrested in Barangay Naganacan, where he is known as Alex Peralta. He was brought to the NBI headquarters in Manila yesterday.

Ponce, who said he is willing to be a state witness, pointed to Ruby Rose’s father-in-law, lawyer Manuel Jimenez Jr., as the one who allegedly ordered him to pick up her body from Jimenez’s house.

He denied killing Ruby Rose, saying she was already dead when he got to Jimenez’s house. He said he drove a vehicle and helped another suspect, Leonard Descalso, put Ruby Rose’s body in a drum and encase it in cement.

The body of Ruby Rose, who was reported missing in 2007, was fished out from the waters off the Navotas fish port in 2009 after a former employee of the Jimenez family, Manuel Montero, confessed to his role in her death and identified other suspects.

The NBI said murder charges were filed against Jimenez; his brother, fishing firm owner Lope Jimenez; Ruby Rose’s estranged husband, Manuel Jimenez III; Montero; Descalso; Eric Fernandez; and Ponce with the Malabon City Regional Trial Court Branch 170, presided by Judge Hector Almeyda. The judge issued warrants for the arrest of Lope, Ponce, Fernandez and Descalso.

Ruby Rose went missing in 2007 after she had a dispute with her husband over the custody of their two children.

Montero said Ponce, Descalso and Fernandez were tasked to abduct Ruby Rose from the Jimenez residence after visiting her children and bring her to the Buena Suerte Jimenez Fishing and Trading Compound, owned by Lope. Her body was stuffed into a drum, encased in cement and thrown into the sea, he said.

Ruby Rose’s parents, Asuncion and Robert, and sister Rochelle were at the NBI asking Ponce about his participation in the murder.

“I strongly believe his participation was extensive. He would not be in hiding (otherwise),” Rochelle said.

In February, the Court of Appeals stopped the trial when it granted Manuel’s petition seeking the inhibition of the judge handling the case. Rochelle said she hopes that with Ponce’s testimony, the trial would resume.    

ALEX PERALTA ASUNCION AND ROBERT BARANGAY NAGANACAN BUENA SUERTE JIMENEZ FISHING AND TRADING COMPOUND COURT OF APPEALS DESCALSO AND FERNANDEZ JIMENEZ ROSE RUBY RUBY ROSE
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