Wednesday, January 20, 1999  

Forensic experts to...... dispute recovery of...... Marijoy's body
By Ramil V. Ayuman
      Staff Member

    THE defense panel is expected to come up on Monday with findings that the body recovered from the foot of the Tan-awan cliff in Carcar on June 18, 1997 was not that of Marijoy Chiong. 

      This was bared yesterday by lawyer Sisinio Andales, counsel of Josman Aznar, after a telephone conversation with forensic expert Jerome Bailen.

      Judge Ocampo granted last January 4 the motion of Andales, in behalf of Aznar, to allow forensic expert Professor Jerome Bailen and his team to examine the pieces of evidence submitted by the prosecution to the court late last year.

      On January 8, Baden was accompanied by his team of experts and forensic pathologist Racquel Fortum, examining and taking photographs of the exhibits. The team of experts conducted the examination for almost three hours. 

      Government prosecutors questioned the qualification and expertise of Bailen while private prosecutor Honorato Hermosisima alleged that Bailen is biased to the Aznar family as the latter is paying for his services.

      Andales told The Freeman that the report of Bailen will be finalized on Friday and he will be here on Saturday to discuss the findings with defense lawyers. 

      Andales said Bailen's final report will be presented in court on Monday, testifying whether the body recovered at the foot of Tan-awan, Carcar was that of Marijoy Chiong or not. 

      Andales expressed optimism that the findings will favor the defense and will prove state witness Valiente Rusia's testimony as a "lie" when the latter testified that Marijoy was thrown off the cliff. 

      If the court will be convinced with the findings Judge Ocampo may grant the exhumation of Marijoy who was buried a year ago. 

      Also yesterday, Andales asked the court to subpoena former Criminal Investigation and mmmmmm

Detective Group (CIDG 7) director Napoleon Estilles and National Bureau of Investigation (NBf 7) director Florencio Villarin to shed light on the number of suspects they investigated.    

      Police authorities have at least 20 suspects but it was trimmed down to seven. 

      Meanwhile, even as the court disallowed a Philippine Airlines employee to testify in favor of Francisco Larraņaga, defense lawyers are expected to present this afternoon employees from other airline and shipping companies.

The Chiong kidnapping case resumes this afternoon after the court cancelled the hearing yesterday, giving  way to defense lawyers to present "material" witness.

      Lawyer Teodoro Villarmia, counsel of Larraņaga, presented Armin Tamayo, PAL reservation system specialists on Monday .

      But the court admitted the records of PAL that accused Larraņaga was not in their manifest for flights from Manila to Cebu between July 15 and 16, 1997. 

      Ocampo disallowed the testimony of Tamayo saying such testimony is immaterial and irrelevant. 

     Ocampo disallowed the testimony of Tamayo saying such testimony is immaterial and irrelevant. 

      Ocampo ruled that Tamayo's testimony was immaterial as it would not prove that it was physically impossible for Larraņaga to have come to Cebu on the date and scene of the crime. 

      Villarmia is expected to present employees of other airlines and shipping companies that Larraņaga was not in their manifests for flights or voyages from Manila to Cebu between July 14 and 16, 1997. 

      But the court warned defense lawyers saying "that similar evidence from other commercial airlines would likewise be immaterial to said issue". 

      Ocampo said if the defense lawyers fail to present their witnesses thereafter, the court will consider the failure a waiver in presenting evidence and the case shall be deemed submitted for decisions. 

      Larraņaga, Aznar, Roen Adlawan, brothers James Andrew and James Anthony Uy, Ariel Balansag, Alberto Cano stand trial for the kidnapping of the Chiong sisters while they were waiting for a ride home at the Ayala Center.

              NOTE:  1.  RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.                                                                                           

              GO BACK TO                   GO TO THE         
             HOME                NEXT ISSUE