Wednesday, January 19, 2005  

SC allows Aznar's............ evidence
High Court has yet to get request from Spanish groups for review of Larraņaga's case: Chiong
By Grecar Nilles
Sun.Star Staff Reporter
Former provincial fiscal Oliver
    says SC has no basis to take
    cognizance of legal briefs 
    submitted by bar associations of
    Basque, Madrid and Barcelona for 
    Francisco Juan Larraņaga

      AMID reports that three Spanish bar associations asked the Supreme Court (SC) to review the death penalty imposed on convict Francisco Juan "Paco" Larraņaga, the High Court has given another accused, Josman Aznar, a new lease on life.

      The SC en banc, gave Aznar the chance to present additional evidence to support his motion for reconsideration. It decided to grant Aznar's motion for leave to file and admit second supplement to his motion for reconsideration dated October 5, 2004.

      In the same resolution, the SC justices gave the Office of the Solicitor General 10 days to comment on Aznar's motion for reconsideration and the supplemental information that he would file.

     While Aznar was fortunate, the Uy brothers, on the other hand, were not. The High Tribunal denied their motion for reconsideration.

     Thelma Chiong, who personally went to the SC to check on the case, is happy with the SC's  recent resolution on the Uy brothers motion for reconsideration.

      She also told Sun.Star Cebu that the reported request of the three Spanish bar associations asking the SC to review the death penalty imposed on Larraņaga has not yet reached the High Tribunal.

      Chiong checked with the docket section of the SC and she was told that they have not yet received such a letter-request.

      "Even if it will be filed with the SC, I am not at all afraid of it. We will do everything for justice to prevail," Chiong said.

      She added that she has the full trust that the High Tribunal will not be swayed or influenced by any request or pressure from other countries.

FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES.  Josman Aznar  (third from  left) has gained a chance to present additional evidence to support his motion for reconsideration.  But t he High Court denied a separate  motion for reconsideration filed by  the brothers  James Anthony  and  James Andrew Uy (leftmost). 

In February last year, the SC decided to impose the death penalty on six of the seven men convicted of kidnapping, molesting and killing sisters Marijoy and Jacqueline Chiong last July 16, 1997.

       Aside from Aznar and Larraņaga, the other convicted men are Rowen Adlawan, Ariel Balansag, Alberto Caņo, James Anthony Uy and his brother James Andrew.

      But lawyer Eric Carin, who is defending the Uy brothers, said the denial of their motion is not about the main motion for reconsideration the accused filed with the SC.

      He believes the denial could be on their motion for reconsideration on the exhumation of Marijoy's body, which was found at the foot of a ravine in Carcar, Cebu two days after the sisters were reported missing.

      "It is not the resolution on the main motion for reconsideration. In the main motion, we questioned the imposition of the death penalty on James Andrew, who was a minor at the time of the incident," Carin said.

      As this developed, lawyer Oliveros Kintanar said the High Court cannot take cognizance of the legal briefs submitted by the bar associations of Basque, Barcelona and Madrid.

      "I am troubled because they do not have any legal basis for submitting their plea. It cannot alter or affect the decision of the court. They do not have any justification for asking our courts to review the decision because they (Spanish lawyers) are not parties to the case," Kintanar said.

      The Spanish lawyers can make a political appeal, but not in any way ask our courts to review the decision, he said.

      "If I will be hired by any party, especially by the Chiong family, I will file an opposition to such move. I am willing to participate, if my legal services are requested. The letter will not hold water because the SC has no jurisdiction over these lawyer's groups," Kintanar said.

                                 DOCUMENT REFORMATTED FOR  CLEARER APPRECIATION.                        
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