Friday, January 28, 2005                  

Court should hear Villarin.............. testimony
By Mike del Gallego
    
Crusade for Truth and Justice      

      A lay man’s reply to the lawyers of the Office of the Solicitor General on their Consolidated Comment addressed to accused-appellant Aznar’s Supplemental Motions for Reconsideration dated October 5, 2004 and May 5, 2005:

      1. As stated in the OSG’s reply, “Ironically, accused-appellant Aznar would want to place Atty. Villarin on the witness stand despite the fact that this fellow’s affidavit pointed to him as the prime suspect in the heinous crimes against Marijoy and Jacqueline.”
     
As stated by the OSG, “a prime suspect” not the prime guilty party. During the trial, there were no guilty parties yet. Villarin’s testimony, if not disallowed by the judge to testify, might have changed the outcome of the trial.

      2. Referring to the OSG’s comment “Villarin’s affidavit was executed on February 27, 2004, or close to seven years after the incident, which all the more “hardly gives credibility to Aznar’s belated hero.”
     
On the contrary, this gives Villarin’s affidavit credibility. He wrote what he believed in and not to favor any of the accused. Surely if Villarin wanted to be “Aznar’s belated hero” he would have written
an affidavit more favorable to Aznar.

      Furthermore, although this affidavit was only “executed close to seven years after the incident,” the OSG conveniently failed, to mention that Villarin as early as May 4, 1999, in a letter to the editors and as reported in the Sun Star Daily (copies which were     attached to the same Aznar’s motion the OSG is attacking) Villarin had already brought out his apprehensions on the conduct of the prosecutors, as confirmed in his affidavit.

      3. “The first 12 paragraphs are nothing but self-congratulatory allegations. It thus appears that was nothing but self-projection.”
     
The OSG should have been more prudent in dealing with Mr. Villarin, who is very proud of what he has contributed to the peace and order of our beloved city. These are not mere allegations. As one compañero to another (Atty. Villarin), they should have been more appreciative of the former NBI director’s achievements.

      4. Villarin’s affidavit “acknowledged that the body found in the Carcar ravine was that of Marijoy. This assertion immediately conflicts with accused-appellant Aznar’s claim….that the corpse was not Marijoy’s.”  
     
Again, the same argument as above, if the purpose of Villarin’s affidavit was to make him “Aznar’s belated hero” this statement would not have been included in his affidavit.


     
5. On the OSG’s comment “Atty. Villarin confirmed in paragraph 24 of his affidavit that accused-appellant Francisco Larrañaga was a suspect in the subject crimes. Evidently, this statement completely supports this Honorable Court’s findings in the Decision dated February 3, 2004.”
      This argument is based completely on a statement that was picked up entirely out of context.
                                     ..
      Paragraph 24 wholly reads: “As we pursued our theory, the name of Francisco Larrañaga was mentioned to us as a POSSIBLE suspect, (bold letters ours), not by Mrs. Chiong nor by Sheila Singson but by an informant who alleged that he was previously
involved in a similar case of abduction, which was, however, aborted, and the records of the University mmm

of San Carlos where he  was then studying confirmed this incident but we found no hard evidence to link him to case under investigation."

      The above statement was made in conjunction with Atty. Villarin’s assertion that Mrs. Chiong and Ms. Singson in an interview in his office only days after the Ayala incident, “never mentioned to us the name of Francisco Larrañaga and the names of the other accused in this case.” 

      No my dear Watson, you cannot use paragraph 24 as an argument to conclude that this “statement completely supports this Honorable Court’s findings in the Decision dated February 3, 2004.”

      6. As to the OSG’s assertion that “Villarin would want to impress that he, rather than those promoted, deserved the promotion” is farthest from the truth. Villarin, in 1999, had already reached the mandatory age of retirement and therefore could have not have aspired for a promotion, as confirm by Atty. Villarin himself in a recent interview. In fact, when he retired from the NBI, one of the Chiong   Case prosecutors was appointed by then President Estrada to take his place, reportedly through the intercession of Mrs. Chiong. 

      7. 'Atty. Villarin’s inability to testify in the criminal case was not due solely to the prosecution’s action. Whether he ought to testify or not was an argument openly discussed in court. Hence, for the resulting inability no one is to blame but the defense lawyers: who did everything to make a mockery of the criminal proceedings.”
      Here we have the defense lawyers trying their best to save the lives of the seven accused, and now here comes our government lawyers, who were not even present during the trial, accusing them of   doing “everything to make a mockery of the criminal proceedings.”

      Why such a sweeping statement? The fact was that Atty. Villarin was subpoenaed by the defense to testify and the prosecution successfully blocked him from testifying. Where’s the “mockery of the criminal proceedings here?”

      8.   “Accused-appellant Aznar also claims that prosecution witness Dacillo was also a paid witness.”
     
This writer cannot conclude that this was a paid witness. But that if he is a biased witness? Yes, he definitely is.  No less than his police handler, SPO3 Roy Codiñera admitted that Dacillo was his asset even at the time of the Chiong case and up to the present. Codiñera was instrumental in “convincing” the prosecution star witness, Rusia, to turn State witness.

      9. “As regards the alleged police brutality that witness Rusia suffered, according to Vandory Cuico’s affidavit, this is a matter that witness Rusia could have himself revealed during the trial. …..At any rate, the affiant Cuico was really that a credible witness, the defense could have presented him during the criminal proceedings.”
     
From the court transcripts, one can see that the judge did not allow anyone to bring up anymore the matter about Rusia’s alleged torture. He said that Rusia’s word that he was not tortured was enough. Even when the defense lawyers in a pretext to ask Rusia to show the tattoos he had in his back of the Satanic cult he was member of, the prosecution objected and the judge readily sustained them. (Cuico’s affidavit mentioned that Aznar was tortured with cigarette burns in his back).

      One can of course expect for Rusia to deny that he was tortured. He already had agreed to “turn state witness”. One cannot expect him to go against what he agreed with the police and the prosecutors. He already started getting special treatment from them and from Mr. Chiong, as stated in Cuico’s affidavit.  

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

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