Worst acting ever: Bella Ruby on ‘fainting spell’ of 7th witness-A A +A
Monday, September 3, 2012
“WORST...worst act I’ve ever seen.”
This was what Bella Ruby Santos said after watching prosecution witness Ligaya Escultos faint in court yesterday morning.
“Kamo, tuo mo (You believe it)?” said Santos, who was interviewed by reporters outside the court.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 6 was conducting a hearing on her petition for bail when the incident happened. Santos and her British boyfriend, Ian Charles Griffiths, are a facing kidnapping with homicide case for allegedly killing Ellah Joy Pique, 6, in Barili last year.
Escultos’ head dropped suddenly while defense lawyer Julius Caesar Entise asked her during cross-examination if she and boyfriend Richard Bansuan were really invited to a birthday party in Barili last year.
Santos’s supporters in the gallery stood up in disbelief at what they saw.
Not feeling well
Escultos, the prosecution’s seventh witness, raised her head later and complained she was not feeling well.
RTC Branch 6 Judge Ester Veloso eventually suspended the hearing.
Escultos was brought to the RTC Branch 6’s clerk of court office and was placed on a chair. After some men massaged her hands, the witness, still on a chair, was brought to the hospital.
Prosecution lawyer Hazan Bargamento said Escultos has hypertension.
“It takes such a heavy burden on our witness to relive and retell the incident on that fateful night,” said another prosecution lawyer Inocencio dela Cerna in a text
Before the incident, the court granted the defense’s request to admit the DNA tests as evidence. The result failed to show any DNA material that would prove that Ellah Joy was in Santos’s room or car.
During Bargamento’s direct examination, Escultos corroborated Bansuan’s earlier testimony.
She said she was the passenger of the motorcycle driven by Bansuan.
They were on their way home coming from a party at a fish pond in Barili, when Escultos saw Griffiths place a sack on top of a concrete road barrier before dropping this into a cliff in Barangay Sayaw, a day after Ellah Joy was abducted from her school.
Escultos said she clearly saw Griffiths since there were two lampposts and the Pajero’s lights were on.
Escultos said she was able to write down the vehicle’s license plate, LHJ 382.
In the morning of Feb. 9 last year, she went back to Sayaw after she heard news about
a girl being thrown there.
When she saw Ellah Joy’s body, she remembered that a Pajero was parked in the area.
Escultos identified Griffiths from a set of pictures of “foreign-looking” men. After she told the court that Santos owned the Pajero, Escultos pointed at the accused.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 04, 2012.