Sunday, November 26, 1998


Says he was with Larraņaga when Chiongs were abducted

     Three students have so far testified that Francisco Juan Larraņaga was in Manila on July 16, 1997 when the Chiong sisters were in abducted, gang raped and apparently left for dead.

     Yesterday, the defense presented Richard Anthony Antonio, Larraņaga's classmate at the Center for Culinary Arts (CCA), who said he was with the accused from late afternoon on the day of the abduction until later that evening. 

     Antonio said they were drinking beer with other friends to relax after class.

     At 7:00 p.m., they were over at Larraņaga's condominium unit with Charmaine Flores and Lourdes Pacita Montalvan. But since only Larraņaga and the two girls knew each other well, the four of them really didn't talk much.

     Antonio, who hails from Bacolod city, presented in court his mobile phone billing for July 1997, which allegedly shows that Larraņaga made a call to his other in Mandaue city in July 16.

      The prosecution, however, was skeptical, as the billing does not bear Larraņaga's name.

     "It could have been made by someone else...that is the Fiscal's point," Judge Martin Ocampo said.

     Prosecutor Teresita Galanida also objected to Antonio's verifying from their teacher "Rowena" if the number was indeed Larraņaga's Cebu number.

     "Why not ask Paco instead," she asked.

     He replied: "I wanted to be 100 percent sure."

     Antonio, who said he was studying baking at CCA while reviewing for an engineering board exam, said he and the accused were classmates in sanitation class.

     But Galanida pointed out the accused had no such subject.   

When Galanida asked him when his graduation date was, he could not recall this.

     "You mean to say July 16, 1997 is more important to you, even if you spent five grueling years in studies?"

     During defense lawyer Teodoro Villarmia's direct examination, Antonio told the court they were at Tia Maria's for two hours and a half, while the others went home ahead.

     "From there, Paco and I went to school to get my car and some things. We then headed for his condo. We arrived there at around 7 p.m. ....we just relaxed, waiting for others to come. A few minutes later, Leah (Lourdes Montalvan) arrived and Paco introduced me to her. She was followed by Charmaine (Flores). At around 9:30 p.m., the two girls left us."  OCD

NOTE:  1.  RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.                                                                                

              GO BACK TO                   GO TO THE         
             HOME                NEXT ISSUE