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Metro

SC OKs Ruby Rose killer as witness

Edu Punay - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld a Malabon regional trial court (RTC) ruling allowing  Ruby Rose Barrameda’s self-confessed killer to become a state witness.

In a 20-page decision released recently, the SC’s Second Division affirmed the modified ruling of RTC Branch 170 Judge Zaldy Docena granting the prosecution’s motion to discharge Manuel Montero as an accused. Docena’s decision was also upheld by the Court of Appeals (CA).

The high court also rejected a petition by Manuel Jimenez Jr., one of the principal suspects, that the judge abused his discretion in issuing the ruling.

The ruling, penned by Associate Justice Arturo Brion, agreed with the lower court that Montero was qualified to become a state witness as he does not appear to be most guilty although he is considered as a principal accused by direct participation.

The SC also agreed with the CA that if Montero did not confess to the crime, including Barrameda’s abduction and subsequent murder, it would have remained undiscovered and unsolved.

Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio and Associate Justices Mariano del Castillo, Martin Villarama Jr. and Marvic Leonen concurred with the ruling.

The SC also said Montero’s recantation is not material to the case, adding that the trial court is the one that should determine the value of the notice of withdrawal.

Barrameda disappeared in 2007 and her body, stuffed in a drum and thrown into the waters of Manila Bay off Navotas, was recovered two years later after Montero pointed out its location and identified the persons allegedly behind her murder.

The victim went missing when she and her husband were embroiled in several legal battles, including a dismissed complaint for domestic abuse and a civil case for the custody of their children.

Montero recanted his statements and went missing after he left the National Capital Region Police Office headquarters in Camp Bagong Diwa early last year.    

Jimenez is facing murder charges while his son, Barrameda’s estranged husband Manuel Jimenez III, was charged with parricide. 

Also charged in the case were Jimenez III’s uncle, fishing magnate Lope Jimenez, and alleged henchmen Eric Fernandez, Robert Ponce and Lennard “Spyke” Descalso. 

vuukle comment

ASSOCIATE JUSTICE ARTURO BRION

BARRAMEDA

CAMP BAGONG DIWA

COURT OF APPEALS

ERIC FERNANDEZ

JIMENEZ

JUDGE ZALDY DOCENA

LOPE JIMENEZ

MANILA BAY

MANUEL JIMENEZ

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