JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the inclusion of fish trader Lope Jimenez as respondent in the brutal murder of Ruby Rose Barrameda, sister of actress Rochelle Barrameda, in March 2007.
Lope is the uncle of Ruby Rose’s estranged husband Manuel Jimenez III, who is likewise indicted for the killing along with his father and Lope’s brother, Manuel Jr. Lope was the owner Buena Suerte Jimenez Fishing and Trading Co. in Navotas where the body of Ruby Rose, encased in a cemented steel drum, had been found floating in the fish pond.
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In her resolution, de Lima granted the motion for reconsideration filed by the Barrameda family seeking the partial reversal of the findings of former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera insofar as the dismissal of the charges against Lope is concerned.
De Lima also said that she dismissed the motion for reconsideration filed by Manuel III seeking the reversal of Devanadera’s resolution which recommended the filing of parricide charges against him after finding probable cause for Ruby Rose’s death.
De Lima said Devanadera, in her March 2010 resolution, erred in ordering the withdrawal of the charges against Lope filed by the prosecutors before the Malabon regional trial court.
She also said that Devanadera erred in not giving credence to the testimony of Manuel Montero, the self-confessed killer who had been discharged by the Malabon court as state witness, who pointed at Lope as the mastermind.
“I’m directing the inclusion of Lopez Jimenez in the indictment. It appears that in the testimony of Montero, Lope is the most guilty, that is why I ordered him to be included in the information. I considered as erroneous the previous resolution,” de Lima told reporters in a press briefing.
In her March 2010 resolution, Devanadera acquitted Lope as a primary suspect in the killing of Ruby Rose, while affirming the filing of charges against Manuel III. Manuel Jr. was already an accused before the Malabon Regional Trial Court.
Others charged were Eric Fernandez, Lennard Descalso and Roberto Ponce who all remain at large.
Another accused, Manuel Montero had confessed as one of five men allegedly paid P50,000 each to kill Ruby Rose on March 12, 2007. A few days later, Montero voluntarily surrendered to police and admitted his involvement in the killing of Ruby Rose and identified the persons who participated in the killing and the concealment of her body.
Montero said they got their orders from Manuel Jr. and his younger brother Lope.
In April 2007, police retrieved a steel casing as based on the information given by Montero. When the steel casing was opened, a cadaver believed to be that of Barrameda was found. (JCV/Sunnex)