Friday, February 5, 1999 

Bailen loses chance to testify
By Angie S. Tuñacao
      Staff Member

    ANTHROPOLOGIST Jerome Bailen and his team lost their chance to testify in court on the results of their examination into evidence used to establish the identity of the body allegedly belonging to Marijoy Chiong when the members of the prosecution panel decided not to present  anymore rebuttal witnesses yesterday. 

      Defense lawyers Sisinio M. Andales said, intentional or not, the move of the prosecution not to present more rebuttal witness shut the door of the defense to present Bailen and his team as sur-rebuttal witness.

      Andales said, "there is a move on the part of the prosecution knowing we have a good case on our hand that we really unlock the mystery of that dead woman found at Tan-awan, Carcar."

      Assistant city prosecutor Teresita Galanida, however, vehemently denied this saying, "that is their own speculation. They are entitled to their own speculation, but that has no basis."

      Galanida explained that the prosecution panel, together with private prosecutor Honorato D. Hermosisima Jr., decided dispense the testimonies of two more rebuttal witnesses as they planned to because their testimonies would only corroborate testimonies of other witnesses.

      Galanida, in her usual fiery demeanor explained, "we are not afraid of anyone."

      Even if they missed their chance at taking the witness stand, Bailen, together with members of his team, fingerprint expert Col. Reynaldo Marcelo, material evidence analyst Adolfo Crimares and forensic dentist Anastacio Rosete came to court yesterday afternoon. 

      They arrived, however, about half an hour after Regional Trial Court judge Martin A. Ocampo adjourned the hearing until Tuesday.

      Bailen showed members of media some of the pictures they took earlier of the evidence offered by the prosecution as proof that the body recovered at the foot of the Tan-awan cliff belonged to Marijoy Chiong.

      They used the photos as basis for their examination.

      Although, Bailen and his team are expected to make public the report of their findings through the media today, Andales gave a brief insight of what to expect.

      Andales said at least three members of Bailen's team, including Bailen himself, recommended for the exhumation of the body of Marijoy.

      Bailen offered two recommendations, which Andales read for the record.

      "All photos taken of the cadaver at Carcar at the crime scene and the mortuary laboratory be further examined for added details that would contribute to a positive or negative identification."

      "If that is not enough, exhumation of entombed body is indicated to resolve all remaining doubts as to its identity. If done with sensitivity by competent and careful forensic personnel, the disturbance of this resting place would not amount to much less than possible perversion and therefore desecration of the truth for all those who earnestly seek it."

      The report, which Andales quoted pointed a portion of, was signed by Bailen.

      Rosete, in his report expressed an observation that the post-mortem dental charting done by the PNP expert dentist was not submitted in court as evidence.

      Rosete also noted that the post-mortem pictures of the body were not properly taken because not all angles of the face and mouth were taken.

      On the other hand, those pictures which might have contained dental information were out of focus and were not informative.

      Rosete also observed that there were no pictures taken on the frontal face of the cadaver.

      Marcelo recommended for the exhumation of the body of Marijoy to determine whether the alleged portion of the specimen used to identify the fingerprint as belonging to Marijoy came from the cadaver.

      Also the exhumation is needed "so that methods of identification by forensic anthropologist be utilized to resolve doubt arising from limitation of fingerprint analysis of the cadaver. 

      Forensic chemist Paz Avis also pointed out errors committed by PNP Crime Laboratory medical technologist Jude Mendoza when he tested the clothing of Marijoy for blood and seminal stains. 

      Avis reported that the collection of observation specimen was faulty because one article was wrapped in newspaper.

      There were insufficient samples of blood to do blood groupings and there were no standards for comparison collected.

      At the same time, Avis reported that the tests conducted by Mendoza did not give the desired results to identify the cirrhological specimen and Mendoza did not follow specific methods of analysis to come to a credible identification.

      Forensic pathologist Dr. Benito Molino and forensic photographer Victor Obesa joined Bailen's team in conducting the examination last January 8.    

      Bailen refused to give any other details of the reports, but assured that the prosecution will rethink their position when they learn about the findings of the team.

      Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong were abducted from the Ayala Center Cebu on July 16, 1997.

      State witness Davidson Valiente Rusia identified the abductors as Francisco Juan Larrañaga, Josman Aznar, brothers James Andrew and James Anthony Uy, Rowen Adlawan, Alberto Caño and Ariel Balansag.      

              NOTE:  1.  RED COLOR OURS FOR EMPHASIS.                                                                                           

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