City fiscal rejects recantation of witnesses

NAVARRO SLAY TRY

THE criminal complaint against Rolando Lim Jr, the lone suspect accused in the attempted slaying of broadcaster Orly Navarro of radio station DWIZ stays after the Office of the City Prosecutor dismissed the submitted recantation of two witnesses.

In his five-page resolution dated December 3, 2014, City Prosecutor Joven Maramba stated that his office finds  “no cogent reason to depart, set-aside or modify its resolution dated August 27, 2014 recommending the filing of a case of frustrated murder against the suspect, Rolando Lim, a neighbor of Navarro in Barangay Pantal.

Citing the admission of witnesses Armando Bautista and Jimbo D.G. Javier, that they did not “comprehend the legal consequences of their act in executing the Pinagsamang Sinumpaaang Salaysay (Joint Sworn Statement)  dated October 8, 2014 to render their individual Sinumpaang Salaysay executed by them during the police investigation on Aug. 26, 2014 the resolution declared the recantation inoperative and null and void.”

However, the prosecution of Lim, 46, will no longer be material since Lim died last Sunday, December 14.

During the clarificatory hearing last Nov. 4, 2104, it was established that the original statements they made to the police were witnessed by a member of the Police Provincail Office and the two witnesses lawyers.

During that hearing on Nov. 4, 2004, PO3 Divino Rallos testified that he was the one who took the statement on August 26, 2014 of Bautista and Javier, including    photographs during the police investigation supervised by Senior Inspector John Corpuz, saying that before the two executed their statement, they pointed to Lim “as the one who shot Navarro”.

In another clarificatory hearing on November 6, 2014, Bautista declared that their Pinagsamang Sinumpaang Salaysay was prepared by the lawyer of the accused Rolando Lim and that before it was prepared, he was contacted by Navarro who told them that their statement “will save them from trouble.”

When told in that hearing that their Pinagsamang Salaysay is a total reversal of their statement given during the police investigation, he (Bautista) replied that nobody explained that to them.

A clarificatory examination was called on November 11, 2014 which was attended by witness Bautista, Lim and Asst. City Prosecutor Julie Son-son Namoro, the inquest prosecutor. Witness Jimbo and Navarro failed to appear despite notice.

In that proceeding, Namoro declared that before she wrote the inquest resolution, she made it a point to ascertain if De Guzman and Jimbo had definitely witnessed the shooting incident and after examining their personal account of the details of the incident, she was convinced that the two witnesses indeed saw how Navarro was shot by Lim on that little past midnight of Aug. 26, 20143.

Before the clarificatory hearing was adjourned, Lim was given five days to present further exculpatory evidence if he wishes to and to furnish Navarro a copy of his counter-affidavit

“Considering the potential significance of the Pinagsamang Sinumpaang Salaysay of Bautista and Javier (recantation) and Bautista’s claim that said statement was prepared by no other than Lim’s counsel, this office waited for Lim and Navarro’s reaction prior to final disposition of the pending incident,” the resolution reads.

In handling the resolution, City Prosecutor Maramba said: “Our legal parameterson recantation is replete with Supreme Court declaration branding such act as “mockery of our judicial system”.

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