REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES
                                                                                       
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
                                                                              7th J
udicial Region
                                                                                     BRANCH 7
                                                                                      Cebu City

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES,
                                           Plaintiff,

                 - versus -                                                                  CRIM. CASES NOS. CBU-45303
                                                                                                                                and CBU-45304

FRANCISCO JUAN LARRANAGA @ "PACO";                   FOR:   KIDNAPPING AND SERIOUS
JOSMAN AZNAR, ROWEN ADLAWAN @ WESLEY;                           ILLEGAL DETENTION
ALBERTO CANO @ "ALLAN PAHAK"; ARIEL
BALANSAG; DAVIDSON VALIENTE RUSIA @
"DAVID FLORIDO" @ "TISOY TAGALOG"; 
JAMES ANTHONY UY @ "WANGWANG" 
AND JAMS ANDREW Uy @ "MM",
                                           Accused.
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -/
                                                                                T R A N S C R I P T
                                                                                      O F    T H E
                                                                 stenographic notes taken before HON.
                                                                 MARTIN A. OCAMPO, Presiding Judge of
                                                                 of Branch 7, Regional Trial Court, Cebu
                                                                 City, during the hearing on August 24, 
                                                                 1998
at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon.
                                                                 

Present:
                                                                 HON. MARTIN A. OCAMPO
                                                                 Presiding Judge

ASSISTED BY:
                                                                  Mrs. Alicia L. Formentera
                                                                  Stenographer

                                                                   Mrs. Lucila C. Bajarias
                                                                   Interpreter

APPEARANCES:
                                                                   Prosecutor Primo C. Miro
                                                                   Prosecutor Cesar Estrera                                                                   
                                                                   Prosecutor Teresita Galanida
                                                                   For the State                                                            

                                                                   Atty. Honorato Hermosisima
                                                                   Private Prosecutor

                                                                   Atty. Rafael Armovit
                                                                   Atty. Ramon Teleron
                                                                   For accused Larraņaga

PAGE 2                                                  Atty. Edgar Gica
                                                                   Atty. Fidel Gonzales, Jr.
                                                                   Counsel for accused Aznar

                                                                   Atty. Alfonso de la Cerna
                                                                   Counsel for accused Adlawan, Caņo and Balansag

                                                                   Atty. Lorenzo Paylado
                                                                   Counsel for accused Uy brothers

                                                                    Atty. Ferdinand Saornido
                                                                    Counsel for accused Rusia

COURT:
          /to Court Interpreter:
          Call the cases.

COURT INTERPRETER: (Calling the cases)
          PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES versus FRANCISCO JUAN LARRANAGA @ "PACO";  JOSMAN AZNAR, ROWEN ADLAWAN @ WESLEY;  ALBERTO CANO @ "ALLAN PAHAK"; ARIEL BALANSAG; DAVIDSON VALIENTE RUSIA @ "DAVID FLORIDO" @ "TISOY TAGALOG"; JAMES ANTHONY UY @ "WANGWANG" AND JAMES ANDREW UY @ "MM", CRIMINAL CASE NOS. CBU-45303 and CBU-45304 for Kidnapping and Serious Illegal Detention.

COURT:
          There is a Motion to Inhibit filed by the defense. I noticed that while the Motion says all the accused are asking for it, Atty. de la Cerna has not signed it for the 3 accused who are his clients. Papano ito? (How is this?)

ATTY. DE LA CERNA:
          In my copy, Your Honor, I have signed.

COURT:
          Well, you have not signed this copy submltted to the court. Will you sign It?
ATTY. DE LA CERNA:
          Yes, I will sign it.

COURT:
          To make It official that you are also asking for the inhibition, Now, this Is adversarial proceedings and we need to hear from the prosecution also because they may not want to inhibit myself and of course, both the prosecution and the defense want me to inhibit myself. I May agree but let us hear from the prosecution also. Yes, Fiscal?

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 3
PROS. MIRO:
          Only this afternoon we have received a copy of that motion and we have in mind to file our opposition to that motion.

COURT:
          Well, would you please do that opposition - within how many days will you file?

PROS. MIRO:
          Maybe tomorrow.

COURT:
          Alright, tomorrow or there is ...

PROS. MIRO:
          Or 5 days time but meanwhile, Your Honor, please, since we are . . .

COURT:
          Within 5 days, alright.

PROS. MIRO:
          Yes. Since we are ready with the presentation of additional witnesses may we be permitted to call another witness, Your Honor?

COURT:
          Of course, yes. I just wanted to explain first this inhibition for the benefit of everybody. The Rules of Court provides that - Rule 137 provides that - A judge may inhibit himself from hearing a case for just or valid reason. In other words, there must be just or valid reason otherwise a judge will not be justified in inhibiting himself. Kung walang (If there's no)  just or valid reason, then a judge will simply inhibit himself because he wants to unburden himself from this case - ano ba yan - ano'ng tawag nyo? (What is that - what do you call this?) Well, that Is . . .

PROS. GALANIDA:
          Shirking from . . .

COUAT:
          Shirking from one's duty - abdication ang tawag doon. (is what it is called.) Abdication, para kang nag-abdicate. (as if you abdicated.) Ayaw ko' na. (I don't want that.) Who doesn't want to rest? Gusto ko nga kung pwede lang. (I want that if it is possible.) Kung pwede lang hawag na tayong maghlrap dito. (If possible only lets not make it hard for us anymore.) Matulog na lang tayong pare-pareho. (Lets us all sleep only.) What can

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 4
we do this is our job? I was designated special heinous judge. Nagmumukhang heinous na nga tuloy ako, e. (I am starting to look heinous already.) What can we do? And to law says there has to be just or valid reason before you can just leave from the case. Hindi naman pwedeng basta iwanan mo na lang (You cannot just leave) without any reason at all. Hindi ba? (Isn't it so?) So we will ask from the Fiscal if they believe there are valid; just and valid reason.

PROS, MIRO:
          Definitely not, Your Honor, because the witness was exhaustively cross-examined. As a matter of fact, if the records will be consulted, he was exhaustively cross-examined for more than 2 hours.

PROS. GALANIDA:
          For 2 hours and 25 minutes.

COURT:
          No, a total of almost 5 hours.

PROS. MIRO:
          For Atty. Armovit only.

COURT:
          Including the other defense lawyers.

COURT:
         For Atty. Armovit only.

COURT:
          And the law says that a lawyer must be ready to conduct cross-examination of the adverse party's witness immediately after he gives his - he is subjected to direct-examination. Unless the Court for-good reason allows the cross-examination to be conducted on a subsequent case. That is what happened, and the witness became indisposed. O, papano - (So, how -) so I said that if he will be ready for cross-examination when he becomes well enough. That is what happened on August 20. He was well enough. He was brought to the witness stand and you said you were surprised. You're not supposed to be surprised because from the very ending of that witness' direct-examination, you should have been prepared to cross-examine him. Now, you are citing your own negligence, your own unpreparedness for asking me to inhibit myself? So kasalanan nInyo yen, e, (But that is your fault.) Why were you not prepared?

ATTY. GICA:
          Your Honor, please . . .

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 5
          Teka muna hindl pa ako tapos e. (Wait a moment, I have not yet finished.) Sit down. Isa pa lang (Only one) sit down. Why will I tell you sit down? E (because) - I don't want to hear your arguments anymore. Why, am I oblige to hear your arguments? As long as you want to talk? Hindi pwede yon. (That cannot be.)

ATTY. GICA:
          No, it has to be not like that, Your Honor, because we are advocating . . .

COURT:
          No, no. Sit down. I am telling you to sit town. You can advocate, you can argue as long as you want. But, within limits. If the court doesn't want to hear anymore of your arguments, if you want to believe, you are being dilatory. I ask you to sit down or tell you to sit down otherwise, pwede ba yon? (Can that be?) You want to speak for 1 hour and as long as you want? You will delay this proceedings? Naturally, I would tell you to sit down kung sobra na. (if it is too much already.) I believe there Is no need for you to say anything. Alright, you may now . . .

ATTY. GICA:
            Thank you, Your Honor. That Is actually the criterion. If our manifestations, our arguments are sobra na (too much) but the records can bear us out, Your Honor, that there was never any argument that Is sobra na (too much) on the part of the defense. Now, the tact that there was a cross-examination made by the defense panel - even If we have to assume it's more then 5 hours, Your Honor, it would not erase the fact that there are still some very vital and important points. In the testimony of Rusia, that we have to test, Your Honor, by the process of cross-examination, Atty. Armovit, Your Honor, counsel for accused Larranaga, was able to touch only on the part of Rusia, on the conviction of Rusia of a crime involving moral turpitude in the United States of America. He had not yet touched on the vital points of his testimony regarding that crime alleged to have been committed by the accused, Atty. Fidel Gonzales on cross-examination was ably able to touch the little points of Rusia, Your Honor, but not all of the testimony of Rusia. I was only given, Your Honor, a period of 15 minutes. I asked this Honorable Court to give as enough leeway, enough time because the only limitation that Is actually imposed by the rules is whether or not our questions are irrelevant, immaterial and impertinent to the issues but we are not. We cannot also say and anticipate that the questions of the defense would be irrelevant, impartial, impertinent not until after the question Is propounded. Only then should we know that the questions propounded by the defense would be Immaterial, irrelevant and impertinent to the issues. But unless

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 6 
a question is shoot into the witness, Your Honor, no one could say that this question is immaterial, irrelevant and impertinent and that is the only limitation under the rules. And in our experience in the advocacy under the law, Your Honor, we have not also come across a limitation of minutes or even hours. As I cited therefore and the records will bear me out, we have handled a case in Davao City, a Murder case, a Rubillo ease, The city councilor of . . .

COURT:
          Please shorten your arguments, Paņero. (My fellow lawyer.) You are taking too much time.

ATTY. GICA:
          Okay . . .

COURT:
            I'll give you a few more minutes.

ATTY. GICA:
          Just that much, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Alright.

ATTY. GICA:
          Just that much, Your Honor. So we believe, Your Honor, - that - we have been respectful to the Honorable Court. We have actually respectful to the Honorable Presiding Judge.

COURT:
          Did I say that you are disrespectful? I'm not saying that you are disrespectful. But I have to . . .

ATTY. GICA:
          Me, personally, Your Honor . . .

COURT:
          Yes, we are friends. We are personal friends.

ATTY. GICA:
          That's is right.

COURT:
          In fact, I call you by your first name, Edgar. But we have to put a stop to the argument and proceed with the trial. So, there is only one thing for me to say, that is, sit down. Hindi naman pwede mag-proceed (We cannot proceed)

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 7
if you are standing up if you continue to talk. So I have to make you sit down otherwise I will hold you in contempt, 0, papano?, (So, how now?)

ATTY. GICA:
          Your Honor . . .

COURT:
          I'm mandated to conduct a speedy trial. E, papano? (And so how?) And you insist on talking.

ATTY. GICA:
          It will be . . .

COURT:
          That has to be stopped.

ATTY. GICA:
          It would be lengthy if we-have to cite matters, points, circumstance, fact in the records, Your Honor. But the fact is, we just feel, Your Honor, that we are not given what is due us officers of the court.

COURT:
          Alright. So, enough. Will you please sit down now and I will comment on that . . .

ATTY. ARMOVIT:
          May I make a short response. It seems, Your Honor, that the prosecution's only argument for curtailing the right for cross-examination is timed. They equate exhaustive . . .

COURT:
          No, no. The reasons were given by the Court in its Order of August 20. All the reasons are there. It is not only because of the alleged bribe attempt. There are several reasons given by the Court itself in its Order.

ATTY. ARMOVIT:
          Yes, Your Honor, I was . . .

COURT:
          It was not the prosecution that gave those reasons. It was me, ha?

ATTY. ARMOVIT:
         No, Your Honor. It was not, Your Honor, because . . .

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 8
COURT:
          In fact, they have no motion to curtail or to shorten the cross-examination. That is a motu propio Order of the Court.

ATTY. ARMOVIT:
          Yes.

COURT:
          Not based on the prosecution's Motion. That is a motu propio Order of this Court.

ATTY. ARMOVIT:
          Yes, Your Honor. I was not responding to His Honor's order but I was rather responding to Prosecutor Miro's
statement earlier, Your Honor, that the measure of exhaustiveness of cross-examination has been given in terms of time. We disagree, Your Honor. And I would like to cite, Your Honor, His Honor's order, his previous Order that - in his Order where his Order distinguished between admissibility and credibility of the witness. His Order precisely and expressly provided therein that the admissibility of the witness' testimony is proper only when subjected to proper, and exhaustive cross-examination, Your Honor, In fact, His Honor even urged the defense counsels to cross-examine exhaustively, Your Honor, and . . .

COURT:
          But - I think that is enough argument. We are losing too much time. I will now make a ruling on your motion - oral motions so we can proceed with the trial. At least we agree on one thing and that is we agree to disagree. Okay? Now, my opinion is that the Court has already given you the defense reasonable, adequate and sufficient opportunity to cross-examine the said accused-witness Rusia. On the other hand, you believe otherwise. E. paano
naman yon? (So, how is that now?)  If you believe no, I believe yes. Whose opinion is supposed to prevail anyway in this Court? Since it's my opinion then, it has to prevail and we will proceed with the trial and you can go to 
the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals. Ask, file a petition for Mandatory Injunction to compel this Court to conduct further cross-examination of that witness Rusia or for an Order disqualifying the Presiding Judge from further hearing this case. Now, absent such an Order from the superior court then, I must insist that we continue with the trial of this case today and that the prosecution now presents its next vital eyewitness.

ATTY. DE LA CERNA:
          May I - Your Honor . . .

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 9
COURT:
          Denied. Present your next witness.

PROS. MIRO:
          Our next witness, Your Honor, eyewitness . . .

ATTY. GICA:
          Your Honor, please . . .

COURT:
          Yes, you want to ask - do you have a motion or what? What motion?

ATTY. GIGA:
          Your Honor, please, earlier, the prosecution was given 5 days within which to file an opposition to our Motion to Inhibit. So, in other words, that is actually an litigated motion and that motion has to be resolved by this Honorable Court within that period of time after the prosecution . . .

COURT:
          Well, the proceedings are not suspended by the prosecution's request for a 5-day period.

ATTY. GICA:
          Now, since this Honorable Court also manifested earlier that it would welcome any petition to the higher courts in order to question the propriety of the Order denying our motion or whatever motion that we have then we may request for an ample time to do that,, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Denied.

ATTY. GICA:
          Because if we have to present a witness - allow the prosecution to continue with the presentation . . .

COURT:
          Look, the Court has already denied your motion.

ATTY. GICA:
          Precisely because we . . .

COURT:
          Please, sit down. You are delaying the proceedings.

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 10
ATTY. GICA:
          So, may we ask for a recess, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Denied. Proceed with your presentation of evidence.

PROS. MIRO:
          Our next witness, eyewitness is Shiela . . .

ATTY. GICA:
          Your Honor, please, I will withdraw as counsel. We are no longer effective counsel for the accused.

COURT:
          Who is going to withdraw?

ATTY. GICA:
          I will withdraw, Your Honor.

COURT:
          You are all going to withdraw?

All counsels (in chorus):
          Yes, Your honor.

COURT:
          Alright, I will sign an Order for your immediate arrest - incarceration for 10 days.

ATTY. GICA:
          It is your discretion, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Will you call the guard. Bigyan mo ko ng kuan ng (Give me a) warrant of arrest for these 5 gentlemen for direct contempt of court.

ATTY. GICA:
          We submit to your discretion, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Yes. I will now order your immediate arrest and incarceration at the City Jail. Bigyan mo ako ng ano (Give me a ) - bench warrant. 

ATTY. TELERON:
          Your Honor, please . . .

(NOTE: For the benefit of our foreign readers, blue wordings is our translation from Tagalog (Philippine language) to English ...the webmaster). 

PAGE 11
COURT:
          Where is Col. ano? Are you sure you're withdrawing?

ATTY. GICA:
          Yes, Your Honor, we are withdrawing.

ATTY. TELERON:
          Yes, Your Honor.

COURT:
          All withdrawing in group. Alright.

ATTY. TELERON:
          Your Honor, please, this withdrawal is with the conformiity of our clients, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Yes, I know. But call the security guards. The Col. . . .

ATTY. GICA:
          You don't have to call the security guards, Your Honor. We can go - just tell us where to go and we will go there.

COURT:
          You have to be led. You are under arrest. You are being order to be under arrest.

ATTY. GICA:
          Yes, just tell us, Your Honor, where to go.

COURT:
          Where is the Col.  - the in-charge of the security?

ATTY. GICA:
          You don't have to order our arrest. We are submitting to the . . .

COURT:
          No. no. I'm ordering your arrest for direct contempt.

ATTY. ARMOVIT.
          Your Honor, may we know the grounds, Your Honor, for . . .

COURT:
          Direct contempt for dilatory behavior . . .

PAGE 12
          Is our withdrawal dilatory, Your Honor? It's not, Your Honor.

COURT:
      It is dilatory and besides we are going to hear and I will designate - where is the PAO lawyer? We are going ahead with the proceedings. Fiscals, sit down in the meantime. Please sit down until - Are you definite on that? You are withdrawing right now?

ATTY. GICA:
Yes, Your Honor.

COURT:
          Will you take these gentlemen, these 5 gentlemen to the BBRC. I'm ordering them to be imprisoned for contempt of court. They are to be held there without any special treatment immediately until further orders from this court. Alright, bring them now, the 5 of them.

                                                                                         
0 R D E R

                                                                              (Please see the record)

ATTY. SAORNIDO:
          May I have one motion, Your Honor?

COURT:
          Yes.

ATTY. SAORNIDO:
          I feel that my client Rusia, for security reason, may I ask for exemption from Court appearance?

COURT:
          Yes, he is not being called to testify. Alright.

(SESSION ADJOURNED)

                                                                                     
CERTIFICATION

         I hereby certify that the foregoing is a true and correct transcript of stenographic notes taken in the above-entitled-cases with specified date, time and place appearing therein, to the best of my knowledge, hearing and ability.


                                                                                                                               SIGNED:  ALICIA L. FORMENTERA
                                                                                                                                                           Stenographer

NOTE:   THE ABOVE TEXT IS THE FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION OF THE ORIGINAL
        DOCUMENT REFORMATTED FOR  CLEARER APPRECIATION.              

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