CA backs parricide case vs Barrameda husband

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THE Court of Appeals (CA) has upheld the filing of parricide case against the husband of Ruby Rose Barrameda, whose body was recovered off Navotas City in a concrete-sealed drum two years after she went missing in March 2007.

The CA Special Sixteenth Division said it did not find any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Office of the President when it backed the finding of the Department of Justice (DOJ) in August 2010 that Manuel Jimenez III should be charged for the crime.

Jimenez claimed that the case must be dismissed for relying on the “uncorroborated and unreliable statements” of Manuel Montero, who recanted his testimony before the Malabon City Regional Trial Court branch 170 last March.

However, the CA said a finding of probable cause only implies “probability of guilt and requires more than bare suspicion but less such evidence as would justify conviction.”

“Evidence presented is to be analyzed, weighed, or disregarded, not by the prosecutor, but by the court in a full-blown trial,” the decision read.

The Court also debunked Jimenez’s claim that the body recovered from the drum did not belong to Barrameda, saying her remains had been identified through dental records, clothing and accessories.

“At any rate, whether the recovered body is in fact that of the particular victim is neither necessary nor indispensable to the finding of probable cause against Manuel III. The corpus delicti (body) of a crime, that is, the very fact of its commission, may be proved directly or indirectly and even by reliable testimony alone,” the CA said on December 10.

After surrendering to the police in May 2009, Montero said six other individuals were also involved in the Barrameda’s killing.

They are lawyer Manuel Jimenez, Jr., Manuel III's father; Lope Jimenez, Manuel Jr.'s brother and Montero's employer; Eric Fernandez, Lope's driver; Lennard "Spyke" Descalso, a security officer; Robert Ponce, operations man at the Buena Suerte Jimenez Company (BSJ); and Rudy Dela Cruz, a welder-fitter.

Montero said it was Lope who called for a meeting on March 12, 2007 to plan Barrameda’s murder, accusing her of bringing shame to the family.

Two days later, she was abducted in her father-in-law’s residence in BF Homes, Parañaque City and brought to the BSJ Compound in Malabon.

Descalso strangled Barrameda to death with a rope and her body was placed inside the drum filled with cement.

Montero welded together the steel drum and casing, loaded it onto the truck and brought it to the Navotas Fishport, where Buena Suerte Jimenez (BSJ) Fishing and Trading Inc. is located.

The drum was dumped nearly two kilometers from the shore. Her car was sold as scrap and her personal effects burned inside the compound. Lope then gave P50,000 each to Fernandez, Descalso and Ponce on March 15, 2007, supposedly from Manuel’s father.

Jimenez and Barrameda, sister of actress and former beauty queen Rochelle Barrameda, were already estranged at the time of her death.

They were also embroiled in a dismissed complaint for domestic abuse and a pending civil suit for the custody of their two children. (Sunnex)

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