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FEBRUARY 27, 2011 · 9:00 AM

People vs. Pedro Lim, et al: Criminal Case Nos.TG-2395-94, TG-2395-94-A & TG-2396-94

Republic of the Philippines

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF CAVITE

Fourth Judicial Region

Branch 18

Tagaytay City

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES (Plaintiffs)

versus

Pedro Lim y Caniza

Venerando Ozores

Bonifacio Roxas y Viacrusis

Luisito Mirasol y Balungan

Eugenio Hizon y Param

Mariano Hizon y Mendoza

Capt. Alfred Abad and

Eugene Yu y Chua (Accused)

D

E

C

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S

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At bar is the above captioned cases charging Pedro Lim Y Caniza, Verando Ozores, Bonifacio Roxas Y Viacrusis, Luisito Mirasol Y Balungan, Eugenio Hizon Y Param, Mariano Hizon Y Mendoza, Capt. Alfred Abad and Eugene Yu Y Chua for the crime of kidnapping with two (2) counts of murder.

In an Information charging all accused on November 14, 1994 reads as follows:

“With intent to kill, qualified by treachery, evident premeditation, taking advantage of superior strength, with the aid of armed men, or by a band, or by employing means or persons to ensure or afford impunity and the use of a motor vehicle, consideration of price reward or promise, conspiring, confederating and mutually helping one another, did then there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously abduct the (two victims herein), with violence upon the persons of Atty. Eugene Tan and Eduardo Constantino by then shooting in the head with a firearm thereby causing their instantaneous death.” CONTRARY TO LAW.

The arraignment of the accused took place on different dates. On June 23, 1997, the following accused who were then arraigned are Pedro Lim Y Caniza, Eduardo Hizon Y Param, Mariano Hizon Y Mendoza and Luisito Mirasol Y Balungan.

On July 7, 1997, accused Bonifacio Roxas was likewise arraigned with Venerando Ozores on July 9, 1997.

Accused Eugene Yu was likewise arraigned on May 13, 2003.

All of the accused after having been arraigned entered their respective plea of NOT GUILTY.

NOTE: This is a consolidated information; the accused being the same in the cases of Murder two (2) counts and kidnapping.

Consequently pre-trial follows:

On August 5, 2003, pre-trial was conducted pursuant to the provisions of the 1985 Rules on Criminal Procedure as amended by the 1988 Rules on Criminal Procedure. The prosecution was represented by the Assistant Provincial Prosecutor, Jose Velasco, Jr., Private Prosecutors, Atty. Phydias Emmanuel Ramos and Atty. Danilo Cunanan and the accused Bonifacio Roxas, assisted by his counsel-de-parte, Atty. Victorino Fonier appeared.

The prosecution did not mark any documentary evidence and manifested that the marking will be made during the course of the trial.

The following proposals for admission were introduced by the prosecution:

1. That Bonifacio Roxas who is here today is the same Bonifacio Roxas who is the accused in these cases, which was admitted

by the defense;

2. That the Honorable Court has the jurisdiction to try these cases over the person of the accused, which was admitted by the

defense;

3. That in so far as those cases are concerned, we have already presented witnesses and we have already formally offered

some documents in the petition for bail, which were admitted by the defense;

4.

That there were previous stipulations and markings insofar as the other accused are concerned and the same be adopted as

far as Bonifacio Roxas is concerned.

5. And likewise, the testimonies of the witnesses be considered as retaken subject to cross-examination of the same, which

were admitted by the defense.

The issues proposed by the prosecution are then following:

1. Whether or not Bonifacio Roxas is part of he conspiracy and the alleged gunman who shot Eugene Tan and Eduardo

Constantino.

2. Whether or not the accused Bonifacio Roxas is liable for damages.

On the part of the accused, the counsel did not mark any documentary evidence nor offer any stipulation of facts. The counsel manifested then manifested that he will be presenting the accused himself (Bonifacio Roxas)

Pre-trial was concluded and parties are given fifteen (15) days from receipt of the pre-trial order to make the necessary correction otherwise they are not allowed thereafter.

The initial presentation of the prosecution’s evidence as against the accused Bonifacio Roxas is hereby set to August 19, 2003, at 8:30 o’clock in the morning and thereafter on August 20, September 1, 2, 3, 15, 16, 17 and 30, 2003 also at the same time.

That while all the accused when under custody of the Presidential Anti-Crime Commission (PACC) the accused Ochoa and De Los Santos became state witnesses. They executed sworn statements implicating Eugene Yu in the participation and commission of the crime during the preliminary investigation before the Fiscal’s Office, Department of Justice, Padre Faura, Manila. The said Reynaldo De Los Santos and Rodolfo Ochoa were consequently discharged as one of the accused and became state witnesses. It was impugned before the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court by the other accused. However, the Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Department of Justice discharging De Los Santos and Ochoa as state witnesses.

1. ROLANDO OCHOA, 54 years old married, welder, and resident of Block 12, Lot 18, Golden Gate Subdivision, Las Pinas

City, after being duly sworn to in accordance with law, testified as follows:

Rodolfo Ochoa’s testimony was being offered for purposes of proving the material allegations in the three (3) information which were consolidated and tried befoe this Court; and to affirm his “Sinumpaang Salaysay” executed on December 16, 1994 which was admitted by the defense counsel. Ochoa, affirmed the allegations in his “Sinumpaang Salaysay” and the same were marked as Exhibit “C”, Exhibit “C-1” up to Exhibit “C-14” and he further affirmed that in page 14 is his signature appearing therein. Notably, the witness affirmed in number 16 of the “Sinumpaang Salaysay,” that he came to know Peter Lim during the wedding of Patricia. He likewise stated that on November 14, 1994, about 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon, he was accompanied by Eugene De Los Santos and Bonifacio Roxas in going to a house in Taft Avenue near La Salle University. When Capt.Abad instructed him to meet a certain Eugene Yu and in that afternoon, he saw Eugene Yu gave Bonifacio Roxas an envelope which appear to be cash money, piece of paper etc. The house was owned by Peter Lim and they conducted a surveillance with the use of the owner type jeep and a Datsun car. The Datsun car was owned by Peter Lim and the owner type jeep belongs to Rodolfo Ochoa.

On cross-examination Rodolfo Ochoa reiterated that he freely and voluntarily executed a “Sinumpaang Salaysay” and his purpose is to tell the everything about the incident on November 14, 1994; and that the “Sinumpaang Salaysay” was freely executed by him and nobody forced him to do so and he likewise testified that Sgt. Abalon is his superior and that it is his duty to follow instructions of the people who are organic personnel. Sgt. Abalon and his superior are organic officer and in

charge of releasing other equipments of the 520th Air Wing; and that said officer is in charge of releasing firearms to civilian agents and he is one of the agent who was issued the firearm. Said witness stated that he was armed with a Mission Order. The affidavit dated December 31, 1993 and the Mission Order dated June 20, 1994. The 9 m. m. pistol issued to the herein wtitness was covered by a Mission Order. Subsequent order were issued to him (referring to Ochoa) covering the date of questioned incident dated November 14, 1994 and that all the civilian agent were involved in that November 14, 1994 incident were issued a Mission Order as well as the Memorandum Receipt for their firearm and that they were dispatched on

November 14, 1994 by Capt. Alfred Abad to continue the surveillance of a certain Wilfredo De Los Santos.

furthermore said that before they went to the place of the subject matter of the surveillance, the group which was manned by Roxas, Sgt. Abalon, Vennie Ozores, Eugene de los Santos and Toto Mirasol went to Greenbelt and arrived so early in the target place.

The said witness

They decided to watch “Karate” movie. So much so, that where they were already tailing the subject Mercedes vehicle of Atty. Tan and his driver were on board, they were caught at the Alabang exit. The Datsun car driven by Bonifacio Roxas suddenly cut the lane of the Mercedes Benz. The owner type jeep driven by Sgt. Abalon stopped at the back of the Mercedes Benz. The driver of the Mercedes Benz alighted and the group forcefully entered the Mercedes Benz at the back seat and at the side of the subject Atty. Tan and his driver. The witness realized that the mission order given to him was to arrest the “Financier na Pula” was a dangerous mission. And being a dangerous mission all of them must be armed.

In the additional direct-examination, Rodolfo Ochoa was able to identify Eugene Yu, Venerando Ozores, Luisito alyas “Toto” Mirasol were also in the group of as well as Bonifacio Roxas alyas “Boning.” That Rodolfo Ochoa when he first came to know in the media and newspapers that they were charged with this crime dated December 13, 1994, he surrendered to the police authorities especially before the Task Force Habagat on December 16,1994. His “Sinumpaang Salasay” was signed by him after he surrendered to the said Task Force Habagat before Gen. Pampilo Lacson.

2. REYNALDO DE LOS SANTOS, under direct-testimony testified that in the surveillance he conducted in person “Financier na Pula” took them almost a month and in the second week of October. That the surveillance mission with accused Bonifacio Roxas, Venerando Ozores and Rodolfo Ochoa and the vehicle that they used were two (2) Datsun cars colored brown owner jeep owned by Rudy Ochoa. The start of the surveillance took place after lunch and pulled out around 3:00 o’clock and 4:00 o’clock in the afternoon and after checking the subject was not around and if it is positive they will just follow the subject up to 8:00 o’clock in the evening.

The duration of the surveillance was financed by Bonifacio Roxas, as he provided them food, gasoline expenses.

Other than Bonifacio Roxas somebody is providing the latter money for the expenses. When the surveillance was negative, they called up someone who gave instruction to proceed to a house in Taft Avenue, Manila. Ochoa, Reynaldo De Los Santos were brought by Bonifacio Roxas to a house in Taft Avenue near La Salle. In fact, when Bonifacio Roxas called up somebody on a phone and talked to a certain Peter Lim, he was only one (1) foot away from the accused Roxas. After knocking at the green gate of the house at Taft Avenue two (2) persons opened the gate and we were allowed to get in. That their vehicle stopped in front of the door of the house; That he still remember that the house was located between the school building of La Salle, Taft Avenue. Accused Eugene Yu appeared at the door and Bonifacio Roxas approached him and he handed to Bonifacio Roxas an envelope with a cash and a small piece of paper. Witness De Los Santos was certain that the person was Eugene Yu. Witness further testified that he first came to know Eugene Yu at his wedding at Green Hills and he was one of those who secured the area. Aside from the fact that he frequented the Office at 520th Airbase, Airwing and he was certain that the one handling the money was Eugene Yu, the house to where Rodolfo Ochoa and Reynaldo De Los Santos were brought by Bonifacio Roxas was owned by Peter Lim and two (2) persons who were also civilian agents were also given money by Bonifacio Roxas. On their way back to the office, Bonifacio Roxas showed him piece of paper handed to him by Eugene Yu and the cash. The contents of this piece of paper was the name of Tan Manzano Law Office, Pacific Building, Ayala Makati

and consequently they were advised to proceed to said place as the subject was holding office there. Upon arrival at Villamor air Base, he handed the envelope to Captain Abad and Captain Abad opened it and took some cash and gave it to Bonifacio Roxas and before leaving the office, Bonifacio Roxas again handed to them some cash and told them “bonus”. And before they separated, accused Bonifacio Roxas instructed Sgt. Abalon and Venerando Ozores to wear PLDT uniform, the following day. The following day, they proceeded to De La Rosa street in front of the place where the subject was working and they parked their car in the car park. Reynaldo De Los Santos was instructed by Bonifacio Roxas to proceed to the third level of

the car park, to check the vehicle of our subject. He saw the car, he went down again and reported to Bonifacio Roxas that the vehicle of the subject was there. In connection with this case, Reynaldo De Los Santos voluntarily surrendered was detained

at Camp Crame. After surrendering, he was interrogated and investigated regarding this case.

“Sinumpaang Salaysay” and was asked to sign above the type written name Reynaldo De Los Santos and he affirmed to be his signature.

The witness was shown is

3. SGT. EDGAR ALLAN C. ABALON – he is a member of the Philippine Air Force Intelligence 520th ABW. Sgt. Abalon was present when Patricia Lim then accompanied by Eugene Yu and Peter Lim had an argument with Gilda Lim. Eugene Yu, was the fiance of Patricia Lim, thwarted the attempt of Gilda Lim against Patricia with the help and timely arrival of some law enforcement agents. Sgt. Abalon further testified that he met Pedro Lim six times at their office at Villamor Air Base and during which Pedro Lim always met with Capt. Abad. Sgt. Abalon, thus he stated:

Sometime in October 1994, Capt. Abad ordered him (Sgt. Abalon) with the other accused and state witnesses to conduct a surveillance operations on one “Wilfredo delos Santos”, a “financier” ng mga pula (NPA) – Alex Buncayno Brigade who in reality is the victim Atty. Eugene Tan, demanding revolutionary tax on Pedro Lim. He was also told that Bonifacio Roxas, one of the accused, can point to him this “Wilfredo de los Santos” he was to coordinate with Bonifacio Roxas. Accused Bonifacio Roxas then was one of their civilian assets and a protege of Capt. Abad. He, “Roxas” was likewise assigned as a security to Pedro Lim by Capt. Abad.

Sometime in the first week of November 1994, Capt. Abad, Roxas and Pedro Lim were impatient that they wanted “Wilfredo de los Santos” picked up as Pedro Lim was being pressured to pay the revolutionary tax. Pedro Lim told Sgt. Abalon “Kailangan mukuha na Butch dahil tinatakot na ako.”

On November 7, 1994, Sgt. Abalon, Bonifacio Roxas, Rudy Ochoa, Venarando Ozores, Reynaldo delos Santos and Toto Mirasol were about to get “Wilfredo delos Santos” whom they were tailing while the latter was aboard his Nissan Patrol Car. Except for Toto Mirasol who was Roxas’ man, Ochoa, Ozores and Delos Santos were all Capt. Abad’s civilian agents. Capt. Abad’s instruction was to take “Wilfredo de los Santos” to his office for tactical interrogation.

On November 14, 1994, the operatives got “Wilfredo de los Santos”. After tailing “Wilfredo de los Santos” for sometime starting from Makati with Roxas driving a Datsun Car along with Reynaldo de los Santos and Toto Mirasol, blocked the path of “Wilfredo de los Santos” Mercedes Benz car, 150 meters from the Alabang Toll booth causing the victim of the car to stop while the owner type jeep driven by Rudy Ochoa bumped the rear of the Mercedes Benz.

Sgt. Abalon was riding the owner type jeep driven by Rudy Ochoa and Venerando Ozores, Bonifacio Roxas then jumped out of the Datsun car and strangled the victim’s driver, Eduardo Constantino, for him to obey their instructions. Thereafter, he was put inside the Datsun car with Mirasol’s help. Venerando Ozores then drove the Mercedes Benz while he and Reynaldo de los Santos sat with the victim Atty. Eugene Tan at the back seat. Sgt. Abalon then called Roxas to now proceed to the office of “challenger”, Capt. Abad’s call sign, but Bonifacio Roxas, with the agreement of others, said they were taking the victims to the safe house.

Along the way, Sgt. Abalon had a conversation with “Wilfredo de los Santos” who asked why he was arrested. It was then

that “Wilfredo de los Santos” told Sgt. Abalon that they got the wrong guy and that he was not “Wilfredo de los Santos” but Atty. Eugene Tan. Sgt.Abalon remonstrated over the blunder but he later realized that everyone in the team except he, knew the real identity of “Wilfredo de los Santos” to be Atty. Eugene Tan and that they were not taking the victims to Capt. Abad’s office but somewhere else. Sgt. Abalon was helpless everyone else in the team was armed except him.

Upon reaching Dasmarinas, Cavite, accused Bonifacio Roxas alighted from the Datsun car and forcibly dragged Atty. Eugene Tan out of the car and said to the victim “Putang ina mo, alam mo malaki atraso mo kay Peter Lim? Halika nga ditto!” then forcibly loaded him aboard the Datsun car and drove further. At this point Reynaldo “Engine” de los Santos transferred to the Datsun car. Somewhere along the way he, again tried to convince Bonifacio Roxas to bring Atty. Eugene Tan to Capt. Abad’s office for tactical interrogation. That he flagged down the Datsun car driven by Bonifacio Roxas who stopped, then rolled the window. Sgt. Abalon then saw the dead bodies of Atty. Eugene Tan and his driver Constantino lying limp and bathed in blood. Bonifacio Roxas then proceeded to the place of Eugenio Hizon in Silang, Cavite to bury the bodies. Sgt. Abalon and Ozores followed and when they reached the house the wife of Eugenio Hizon told them, “Dinala na nia,” implying that she knew that Bonifacio Roxas and company were going to bury the bodies.

Sgt. Abalon and the other team members, except for Reynaldo delos Santos, went to see Capt. Abad at the house of Col. Abelardo Abad. Sgt. Abalon immediately protested and told Capt. Abad “Sir, bakit ganoon nangyari. Ginago n’yo ako eh!” But Capt. Abad told him to keep quiet, not to pose a security risk and that he will be compensated for the job.

Then Capt. Abad called someone in front of him Ochoa and Ozores. Abad called Peter Lim by phone and the witness overheard Capt. Abad say “Hello…Peter please…Peter Lim…Si Nonoy… O, tapos na…” then hung up the receiver.

4. CYNTHIA TAN – the widow of the late Atty. Eugene Tan testified that she and the victim have five (5) children. That the

happiness of the family was cut short by the unjustified killing of her husband. She likewise testified on the anguish and pain that she and her children suffered; the loss of monetary support that her husband provides. The loss of life of the husband cannot be compensated in terms of money only but the justice of putting behind bars the perpetrators and conspirators of the crime. She therefore testified on the expense incurred for the burial of her husband and the earning capacity of her husband who was a senior partner of the Tan, Manzano law offices.

5. EUNICE TAN – the third of the five children of the deceased Atty. Eugene Tan likewise narrated how she felt with the loss

of her father. Of how the love and support of their father was suddenly snatched by the grisly murder of her father and his driver for which all of the accused must suffer the consequences.

For Eduardo Constantino’s part, the driver of the late Atty, Eugene Tan, the defense made stipulation on the death of the said victim. They likewise agreed to stipulate the heirs left by the said victim and the expenses incurred in the burial.

6. DR. ROSALINE COSIDON, Medico Legal Officer, Camp Crame, testified on cause, facts and circumstances of death of

Atty. Eugene Tan and Eduardo Constantino, both of which are un-rebutted. The identities were duly established. And pursuant to the autopsy conducted by the said Medico Legal Officer, the first cadaver examined was Atty, Eugene Tan. He briefly testified that the gunshot wound was on the head of the victim with size of 0.8 x 0.8; that the gun used was a 38 caliber revolver, With respect to the autopsy of the other victim Eduardo Constantino, the driver of Eugene Tan, the same location of the gunshot wound on the head was testified to by the Doctor as well as the size of the gunshot wound which is 0.8 x 0.8. The autopsy of both cadavers were conducted on November 18, 1994 at the Crime Laboratory, Camp Crame, Quezon City.

7. CHIEF SUPERINTENDENT RODOLFO TOR – testified that he was one of the arresting officer of Pedro Lim. That

Lim was arrested because of the affidavit of Bonifacio Roxas pointing to him as one of the mastermind in the killing of Atty. Eugene Tan and his driver.

After the prosecution has completely presented their evidence, the presentation of defense evidence followed:

1. PETER LIM Y CANIZA was presented as first defense witness and stated that he was 43 year old, married, sales manager

and resident of 2353 Taft Avenue. Malate, Metro Manila and an Australian citizen. He further testified that he was born in Manila of Filipino parents; that he became an Australian citizen through naturalization process which was in 1984. He was required to reside in Australia after naturalization in 1984 and then he said he was residing in Melbourne, Australia and he worked as a sales manager for an import-export corporation dealing in artificial flowers and the name of his employer was Danic Propriety Limited in 1990 receiving a salary of $26,000.00 Australian Dollar. Since, he was naturalized as an Australian Citizen in 1994, he had been in the Philippines three times and that was in 1986, 1990 and 1994. And after he goes to the Philippines, he usually stays here for several months. He further testified that his nick name is Peter and that he denies being the mastermind in the killing of a certain Eugene Tan and that he never met any one like Sgt. Abalon, Bonifacio Roxas inside the Villamor Airbase and that he further denies having met Sgt, Abalon and uttered to him the statements, “Pinipilit ka na raw.” by the victim in this case. And this meeting with Sgt. Abalon was followed by another meeting between you (Peter Lim), a certain Capt, Abad and Bonifacio Roxas inside the Villamor Airbase; that he further denied that he made a promise to the other accused in this case to pay them about 500,000.00 pesos in exchange for the killing the victim Eugene Tan; that he arrived in the Philippines in July 2, 1994 and he presented his passport and that he was arrested illegally pursuant to the Decision of the Court of Appeals in the case of Peter Lim versus Judge Guerrero. He furthermore stated that he is married and the name of his wife is Bernadette Lm and she is here today attending the court hearing. And that he never made any inducement in the commission of the crime which led to the death of the victim Eugene Tan and Eduardo Constantino neither was he a privy to that conspiracy leading to the arrest of Eugene Tan and his driver.

The accused Peter Lim was again called to the witness stand. Said witness in testifying under the same oath for additional direct-examination, for purposes of authenticating the passport.

Defense witness, Peter Lim Y Caniza presented his two (2) original passports in the name of Peter C. Lim, the first which expired on July 6, 1998 and the second which expired on July 21, 2008. Said witness testified on the authenticity of both passports; that the photocopies of the passports No L-1307093 and passports No. 0271259 are faithful reproduction of the original.

Said witness further testified that his parents are Filipino and they are still alive and residing in Malate, Manila and their lives have been spent here in the Philippines. But the mother of said witness has already died on February 1995 and his father is the only one living in Manila as well as his brother, sisters are all residing in Manila; that they are all Filipino Citizen; that the witness wife and is child are also residing in Manila most of them stay here; that most of his closest relatives and friends are all here in the Philippines; that when the witness said if he is willing to surrender his passport he answered “By all means”; that he is willing to comply with all the conditions imposed by this Honorable Court, in particular, reporting periodically in person to the members of the Court or to any representative of the Court. As an Australian Citizen, the embassy has been supportive in his case; they have been monitoring the same and they have written the Department of Foreign Affairs about the case; they also visited him (Peter Lim) in jail; they also attended Court hearings; that one of the consular officers is present in Court; that definitely he has no intention of fleeing the country (Philippines) should his application for bail is granted; the witness said that the renewal of his passport was properly made. The Australian embassy sent their personnel to jail, took photograph and then he filled up a renewal application form for the passport.

The said witness, accused Peter Lim on cross-examination testified that he was in the Philippines on November 14, 1994 and even a month prior thereto he was also here in the Philippines.

2. ANTHONY LUCERO, 39 years old, married, government employee and resident of Block 9, Lot 8, Mercedes Homes,

Binan, Laguna, after which he testified in the following manners:

The instant witness is the chief of PAG-ASA station of Tagaytay and he is being presented for the purpose of identifying the measurement of rainfall made by the Amdadeo Rain on November 14, 15 and 17, 1994. He further testified that a certain Panfila Gica, a weather specialist of PAG-ASA, Rosa Boy and Lourdes are also connected with the climatology. All these persons are connected with PAG-ASA. Witness Anthony Lucero testified that he is connected with PAG-ASA and is presently holding the position of Weather Specialist II and his designated as the Chief of the Tagaytay PAG-ASA since admission. This witness likewise stated his duties and responsibilities and one of which is to manage the weather station administratively and technically insure that the weather parameter are properly measured and recorded on the PAG-ASA form that we have been provided and to perform supervisory duties to the personnel assigned hereat and pursuant to the bunch of documents which were presented by the witness was the weather condition over Matitim, Amadeo, Cavite from November 14, 15, 17, 1994; that was the measurement of the amount of rainfall for the day on 14 of November, 1994 and the period of occurrence, the period of occurrence of rainfall starting from a certain period and the period where it ended. The witness further stated the measurement of rainfall through eight inches gauge and which is measured from 8:00 o’clock. The period of observation is 8:00 o’clock in the morning and 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, they measure the rainfall and they recorded it to the chart where it had occurred and that they clarify that the metrical day is very much different with the local standard because the meteorological standard starts at 8:00 o’clock the following day and whatever measurement they could record in 8:00 o’clock, that is charged the previous day.

3. SPO3 AGATON OLQUINO testified that he is from Firearms and Explosive Office, Philippine National Police (FEO-

PNP), who produced and identified exhibits “8”, “9” and “10” and their sub-markings, consisting of duly authenticated public documents pertaining to firearms licenses and/or applications in the name of Edgar Allan Castillo Abalon. Through Oliquino, the defense was able to establish that:

a. Abalon lied when he testified before this Court on 20 August 1997 that he did not own a 45 caliber firearm, when FEO

records show that just two months previously, on 11 June 197 Abalon applied for a license for a .45 caliber frame (tsn, 6-22- 01), pp. 24-25);

b. Abalon lied in the license application (Exh. “9”) he filed with FEO in 1996 for a .38 caliber pistol when he stated therein

that he has no previous application for a firearm license, when Exh. “8” and its sub-markings show that Abalon applied for and was granted a firearm license in 1995 for a 9 mm. pistol (tsn,6-22-01, pp. 9-10, 17-18); and

c. Abalon has been illegally possessing firearms since 1997, since he never renewed the firearms licenses that he secured in

1996 (for a .38 caliber pistol) after they lapsed in 1997 and 1998 respectively, since Section 5 of P.D. 1866 provides that the term of “unlicensed firearms” includes a firearms with an expired license (TSN, 6-22-01, pp 29 -34).

Pursuant to trial memorandum of the accused Pedro C. Lim page 6 and 7. The said witness testified on the validity of the firearms for two years. Upon the expiration of the two year period lifetime of the license, under Section 5 of Presidential Decree 1866, as amended the coverage of the term unlicensed shall include the firearm with expired license.

Meaning this particular license has already expired and considered to be unlicensed firearm.

4. EUGENE YU, with respect to the accused Eugene Yu, as summarized herein, post the twin isssue of:

1. Whether or not accused Eugene Yu’s constitutional rights to speedy trial and speedy disposition of his case has been

violated.

2. Whether or not the evidence of the prosecution show beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused Eugene Yu.

Accused Eugene Yu respectfully submits his constitutional right to speedy trial and disposition of cases has been

transgressed.

First, record shows that the period between the day when this Honorable Court’s Resolution downgrading the Information against accused Eugene Yu should have been compile with by the prosecution of, which was sometime in February 1996, and the arraignment of accused Eugene Yu, which was on 13 May 2003, is more than seven (7) years.

Second, the delay is attributable to the prosecution. Accused Eugene Yu after failing to seek for a reconsideration of the Order of this Honorable Court finding probable cause to indict him as an accomplice for the abduction and killing of Atty. Tan and his driver, did not anymore assail the said ruling before the High Court but instead steadfastly faced the accusations against him. On the other hand, the prosecution persistently wanted to indict accused Eugene Yu as principal for the abduction and killing of Atty. Tan and his driver notwithstanding the unconvincing statements of is witnesses Ochoa and de los Santos.

Third, the accused Eugene Yu is asserting that his constitutional right to speedy trial and speedy disposition of cases at this very stage. And even on the assumption that the accused failed to assert this right, it is settled that the right of the accused to speedy trial and speedy disposition of his case will be upheld notwithstanding his failure to take any step to assert his right. Thus, in Cervantes vs. Sandiganbayan (307 SCRA 149 ), Supreme Court held:

“We cannot accept the Special Prosecutor’s ratiocination. It is the duty of the Prosecutor to to speedily resolve the complaint, as mandated by the Constiution, regardless of whether the petitioner did not object to the delay or that the delay was with his acquiescence provided that it was not due to causes directly attributable to him.”

Finally, the question of how much lapse of time is consistent with the constitutional guarantee of speedy trial and speedy disposition of cases varies with the particular circumstances. There is no constitutional basis for holding the right to a speedy trial can be quantified into a specified number of days and months (21A Am Jur 2d Sec.1036). The mere passage of time is not sufficient to establish a denial of a right to speedy trial, but a length delay, which is presumptively prejudicial, triggers the examination of other factors to determine whether rights have been violated (U.S. vs. Villete 688 F. Supp. 777 (D. Mer. 1988).

To be considered as accomplice, one needs to have knowledge of and participation in the criminal act. In other words, the principal and the accomplice must have acted in conjunction and directed their efforts to the same end. Thus, it is essential that both were united in their criminal design and purposes.

CAREFUL EVALUATION, of the foregoing facts and circumstances will show that the testimonies of Abalon, de los Santos and Ochoa, on the out of Court utterances of Roxas and Capt. Abad have no legal importance because they are heresay without probative value. Unless Roxas and Abad are presented in Court and unless accused Pedro Lim is given the opportunity to cross-examine them, so as to test their accuracy and credibility, the extra judicial declaration of (Abalon, de los Santos and Ochoa) have no probative value at all and cannot be used as evidence against Pedro Lim and the other accused.

State witnesses Reynaldo de los Santos and Rodolfo Ochoa personally saw the shooting to death of the late Atty. Eugene Tan and his driver Eduardo Constantino by accused Bonifacio Roxas inside the Datsun car.

There is no evidence that the accused Pedro Lim participated in the commission of the crime by the other specific acts direct or indirect.

The spontaneous utterances of accused Bonifacio Roxas quoted therein “Halika ka nga dito, malaki atraso mo ka Peter Lim” to the late Atty. Eugene Tan was nothing but a hollow utterances bereft of any evidenciary value against Pedro Lim because the accused Bonifacio Roxas was never presented in court although he was available. The failure of the prosecution to represent evidence that will collaborate such utterances of accused Bonifacio Roxas renders the inculpation of Peter Lim in

the above captioned cases without legal and factual basis.

The telephone conversation claimed by Sgt. Edgar Allan C. Abalon obtaining between Capt. Abad and Pedro Lim was without any corroborating evidence showing clearly that both Abad and Lim were really talking to each other on he phone because there was specific evidence showing as to who was talking in the other line. Aside from the fact that Sgt. Abalon does not know the exact number which was dialed by Capt. Alfred Abad. Again, it is speculative in character and therefore not cognizable in this Jurisdiction.

In sum, the above captioned cases are without substantial evidence beyond reasonable doubt impleading Pedro Lim as accused herein.

With respect to the case of Eugene Yu, the envelope and piece of paper written the Office of Tan, Manzano, Villes, Pacific Building, Greenbelt Makati City given to the accused Bonifacio Roxas as claimed by Ochoa, de los Santos and Abalon the best evidence is to prove such incident is accused Bonfacio Roxas by Eugene Yu and therefore the failure to present him in Court renders the said claim nullified and without legal force and effect.

The evidence that the alleged envelope contains the pay off money given to accused Bonifacio Roxas by Eugene Yu was hearsay being uncorroborated by other evidence.

Prosecution witnesses Rodolfo Ochoa, Reynaldo de los Santos and Sgt. Edgar Allan Abalon to the effect that they have no knowledge about the real purpose of the operation is NOTED, because all the while they were made to believe by accused Bonifacio Roxas that the objective behind the surveillance operation was on how to arrest the Colletor ng Pula (NPA- Communist Tax Collector) known as Wilfredo de los Santos, and therefore such surveillance operation was legitimate.

On the other hand it was only Bonifacio Roxas who knew the surveillance operation true and real objectives. The Datsun car used in such operation driven by Bonifacio Roxas was without any registration papers showing its ownership, hence the allegation that the Datsun car is owned by Peter Lim is self-serving and therefore hearsay on the ground that the certificate of registration of the Datsun car was never presented by the Prosecution.

Our Honorable Supreme Court said in People vs. Ragondiaz, 334 SCRA 193, 207, 208, (2000), When an accused is charged as principal, the prosecution must prove the specific acts done by him.

“The principal in the commission of the crime are (1) those who takes a direct part in the execution of the act, (2) those who directly force or induce others to commit it, and (3) those who cooperate in the commission of the offense by another act

without which it could not have been accomplished.

murder, the prosecution must prove specific acts done by him which fall under any of the above-mentioned acts.”

As such in order convict accused appellants as principal in the crime of

Viewed on the foregoing facts, this court believes that the prosecution miserably failed to prove the culpability and the criminal liability of Pedro Lim accused as principal by induction for the crime of kidnapping and double murder of late Atty. Eugene Tan and his driver Eduardo Constantino beyond reasonable doubt.

Eugene Yu, accused as accomplice in the above caption cases is likewise without any criminal liability as such, for failure of the prosecution to prove the criminal participation of Yu beyond reasonable doubt.

With respect to the other accused namely:

Capt. Alfred Abad (at large)

Toto Mirasol (detained)

Venerando Ozores (detained)

Mariano Hizon (detained)

Eugenio Hizon (detained) deceased

Their respective criminal liability was not proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt because accused Bonifacio Roxas was not presented in the hearing of the above caption cases. Except for Capt. Abad who is at large, all other accused herein are without knowledge of the true objective of the surveillance because they were not properly briefed by Bonifacio Roxas. All the while they were in the firmed belief that the operation was legitimate.

Capt. Alfred Abad even during the conduct of the preliminary investigation proceedings before the Department of Justice, panel of prosecutors was not presented, however due to the failure of the prosecution to adduce evidence against him, the Constitutional presumption of innocence still holds in his favor and therefore there is no legal and factual basis to indict and convict him for lack of jurisdiction over this person.

Wherefore, in the light of the foregoing facts and circumstances accused Bonifacio Roxas is hereby declared GUILTY of the CRIMES of KIDNAPPING and DOUBLE MURDER under the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines for the killing of the late Atty. Eugene Tan and his driver Eduardo Constantino beyond reasonable doubt. The Penalty of Reclusion Perpetua is hereby imposed twice against the said Bonifacio Roxas, who is hereby further ordered to indemnify the the civil and moral damages to the heirs of the late Atty. Eugene Tan and his driver Eduardo Constantino in the total amount of 500,000.00 pesos for each victim.

For failure of the prosecution to prove the guilt of accused Peter Lim beyond reasonable doubt, he is hereby ACQUITTED from the above captioned case.

Likewise Eugene Yu accused as accomplice is hereby ACQUITTEDfor failure of the prosecution to prove his guilt beyond reasonable doubt in the instant cases.

The ACQUITTAL of the following accused namely:

Capt. Abad ( at large )

Toto Mirasol ( detained )

Venerando Ozores ( detained )

Mariano Hizon ( detained )

Eugenio Hizon ( who died while in detention )

are hereby ORDERED on the grounds that their respective guilt were not proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt as it appears that they were in the firm belief tha the surveillance operation was against the Collector na Pula an NPA- Communist Tax Collector and therefore a legitimate surveillance operations.

Capt. Abad, who is at large up to now still enjoys the constitutional presumption of innocence and lack of jurisdiction over his person being at large.

The Cash Bond put up for the provisional liberty of Pedro Lim and Eugene Yu shall be released upon proper request and

receipt of the same are duly acknowledged.

NO COST.

January 10, 2011, Tagaytay City

SO ORDERED

Signed: WILFREDO DE JOYA MAYOR (Assisting Judge Designate)

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One response to “Regional Trial Court Decision on Eugene Tan’s Murder Case

The question is “How much was this judge paid to write this decision?” I guess for the right amount of money, this judge can make fecal matter smell like roses. No wonder there is a long line of people who can’t wait to leave this country. Any student of law is taught the acronym MOM, i.e., Motive , Means, Opportunity. What was the motive in the killing of the 2 persons? Who provided that motive? The made up story of them pursuing a crminal is nonsense. This was clearly a case of kidnap, and murder for hire.

To acquit an accused who is or was “at large” at the time of the trial is absolute stupidity. The mere fact that he avoided trial is an assumption of guilt.

The difference between this judge and a sack of shit is the sack.