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Republic of the Philippines

REGIONAL TRIAL COURT


FOURTH JUDICIAL REGION
BRANCH 4
Palayan City, Nueva Ecija
PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Plaintiff,
CRIMINAL CASE No. 1234
For: Murder

v.
KEVIN RAMOS,
Defendant.
x---------------------------------------------x

MOTION FOR JUDICIAL DETERMINATION OF PROBABLE CAUSE


Accused KEVIN RAMOS, by undersigned counsel, most respectfully move
that this Honorable Court conduct a determination of probable cause pursuant to
Article III, Section 2 of the 1987 Constitution and in support thereof state the
following:
PREFATORY
The obvious involvement of political considerations in the actuations of
respondent Secretary of Justice and respondent prosecutors brings to mind an
observation we made in another equally politically charged case. We reiterate
what we stated then, if only to emphasize the importance of maintaining the
integrity of criminal prosecutions in general and preliminary investigations in
particular, thus:
[W]e cannot emphasize too strongly that prosecutors should not allow, and
should avoid, giving the impression that their noble office is being used or
prostituted, wittingly or unwittingly, for political ends, or other purposes alien to,
or subversive of, the basic and fundamental objective of observing the interest of
justice evenhandedly, without fear or favor to any and all litigants alike, whether
rich or poor, weak or strong, powerless or mighty. Only by strict adherence to the
established procedure may be publics perception of the impartiality of the
prosecutor be enhanced.
1. The Supreme Court, in a recent case also involving herein accused has made the
foregoing strong admonition against public prosecutors.

2. It is unfortunate that despite the admonition, the panel of prosecutors who


conducted the preliminary investigation of the instant cases chose to defy such
clear warning by no less than the Supreme Court, as will be discussed below.
In the conduct of preliminary investigation, the members of the
Investigating Panel committed grave prosecutorial misconduct which deprived
accused of their right to due process.
------------------------------------------------------

3. The preliminary investigation proceeding, like court proceedings, is subject to


the requirements of both substantive and procedural due process.
4. As an indispensable requirement of due process, the investigating prosecutors
must possess the cold neutrality of an impartial judge.
5. In the instant cases, however, accused-movant was denied due process when the
panel of public prosecutors committed the following grave misconduct which also
clearly showed that they did not possess the cold neutrality of an impartial judge.
5.1. Despite failure to comply with the requirement under Rule 112, Section 3
(a) of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure that the affidavits of the
complainants and his witnesses shall be subscribed and sworn to before any
prosecutor x x x, the investigating prosecutors gave due course to the
criminal complaints of the alleged widows, instead of dismissing them
outright.
5.2. The Investigating Panel refused to grant clarificatory hearing despite the
existence of important issues and matters to be clarified before a fair
resolution of the complaints may be made.
5.2.1. While it is true that the conduct of clarificatory hearing is not mandatory,
Rule 112, Section 3(e) directs that it be conducted when there are facts and issues
that must be clarified before the prosecutors can resolve the cases.
5.2.2. Accused-movant repeatedly requested and insisted on the panel of
investigating prosecutors the need to require the complainants and their witnesses
to appear for confrontation with the accused-movant and for clarificatory
questioning.
5.2.3. Accused-movant identified the following important issues and crucial facts
that needed clarification:

a) Re the confession of Julius Caesar, the specific dates of the alleged meetings
attended by the accused-movant.
It is well to note that the accused-movant was linked by Julius Caesar to the three
killings as the alleged masterminds who had allegedly ordered the liquidation of
former CPP/NPA/NDFP members who were supporting AKBAYAN party-list.
Accused-movant pointed out that Julius Caesar failed to specify the dates in which
the alleged meetings were held and in this connection manifested their intention to
pose clarificatory questions.
b) Re the submission of the investigation report of the Philippine National Police
of Nueva Ecija on the deaths of Felipe, Peralta and Bayudang.
Accused-movant also pointed out that witnesses Alvaro Maximo, Cleopatra
Anthony and Julius Caesar executed their Sinumpaang Salaysay only March 18,
2013. The first two executed their Sinumpaang Salaysay on March 19, 2013 while
Caesar executed his the following day.
After comparing the accounts of the above three witnesses with those who gave
their statements shortly after the alleged killings, accused-movant noted glaring
contradictions which support a reasonable conclusion that there existed a pattern of
suppressing evidence that were executed or prepared shortly after the killings and
that the suppressed evidence were replaced by recent statements taken only in
March 2013.

Given the above and considering that accused-movant was charged with nonbailable crime of two counts of murder, the investigating panel should have
subpoenaed the complete result of the original police investigations on the killings.
c) The need to establish the identity of the complaining witnesses
This Honorable Court can take judicial notice of the fact that when the herein
complaining witnesses filed a petition to disqualify accused-movants party-lists
for last years electoral contest, the same witnesses appeared before the
COMELEC with their faces covered with scarves. They refused to remove these
scarves on the shallow pretext of personal security, thereby rendering questionable
their real identities.

The panel of investigating public prosecutors should have dispelled doubts over the
complainants identities by requiring them to appear and making themselves
available for questioning in the presence of the accused-movant.
As stated in accused-movants letter dated 14 January 2013 addressed to the panel
of investigating prosecutors, what actually happened during the supposed
preliminary investigation was a hide and seek type of proceedings whereby the
complainants surreptitiously appeared before the public prosecutors without notice
to the accused-movant. A big question remains: Was the panel able to confirm the
identity of the complaining witnesses?
d) There were material gaps, ambiguous and sweeping statements and serious
inconsistencies in the affidavits of Julius Caesar and the complaining witnesses.
Accused-movant enumerated in their counter-affidavits and their subsequent
pleadings and letters submitted to the panel the material gaps and inconsistencies
in the claims of the newly surfaced witnesses with those of the first-hand accounts
of witnesses whose testimonies or statements were secured shortly after the
killings.
e) Lastly, considering that accused-movant has sufficiently shown that the instant
cases are part of the existing pattern to neutralize them, the panel of investigators
could have addressed this by making the complainants available for questioning by
the accused-movant.
In the same letter dated 14 January 2013, accused-movant insisted that a
clarificatory hearing with the appearance of the complainants and their witnesses in
an open public hearing was necessary considering that the complainants and their
witnesses are under the custody and control of their military handlers.
Prosecution witnesses Alvaro Maximo, Cleopatra Anthony and Julius Caesar
claimed to be rebel returnees who have surrendered to and are likely to be under
the custody or protection of the military.
A clarificatory hearing could have given the public prosecutors and the defense the
opportunity to test the voluntariness and credibility of the complainants and their
witnesses. The panel of investigating prosecutors did not only refuse to consider
the foregoing reasons for accused-movant request for clarificatory questioning, the
panel even went to the extent of accusing accused-movants of delaying the
proceedings.

5.3. The need for clarificatory hearing is even admitted by panel member
Assistant Provincial Prosecutor Eddie Gutierrez who wrote by hand his
comment in the Joint Resolution dated 15 January 2013 that I concur with
the conclusion but I would have been more than satisfied if the witnesses for
the prosecution were present.
5.4. The panel readily dismissed accused-movants manifestation and request
to allow them to submit a Memorandum.
Although the submission of a Memorandum is not required, Section 33 of the DOJ
Manual for Prosecutors allows the filing of the same in cases involving difficult or
complicated questions of law or fact.
5.6. Despite express manifestation, the panel did not give the accused-movants
the opportunity to avail of their right to file a Motion for Reconsideration
pursuant to and within the period provided under Section 56 of the Manual
for Prosecutors.
The evidence submitted by the prosecution is insufficient to establish probable
cause against accused-movants.
-----------------------------------------------------6. An analysis of the evidence presented by the prosecution against each accusedmovant reveals the impossibility of the accused having participated in the alleged
killings.
PRAYER
WHEREFORE, premises considered, in the interest of justice and to uphold
the rule of law, accused KEVIN RAMOS prays for the proper judicial
determination of probable cause on this case.
Other forms of relief that are just and equitable under the premises are also
prayed for.
Baguio City. August 13, 2014.

ATTY. LAWRENCE PATRICK P. ESTILLORE


Counsel for the respondent
285 Abanoa St., Baguio City
PTR No. 123/Baguio City/12-31-14
Roll of Atty. No. 64935

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2. Opposing Counsel