Paco and friends, from l to r: Paolo Manguerra, Paolo Celso, Paco, Mona Lisa, Paco Jarque, Raymond Garcia, Maitina, an unidentified lady, and Sebastian Seno.
Pictures should paint a thousand words. Not for the prosecution and the judge. They tried their very best to downplay this vital evidence for the defense.
Among their baseless innuendos were:
prosecutor Honorato Hermosisima, who claimed a computer was used to
"merged" Paco into the picture:
THE TRUTH: Paco was caught by the camera as he was turning around to face it. Paolo Celso, in jacket, didn't even have time to turn around.
2. Paco was sitting on a black steel chair while the rest of the group were using white plastic chairs.
THE TRUTH: Again, Paco wasn't the only one using a black steel chair. In photos B and C, you will note that Paco Jarque is also seated in a black steel chair. Whilst the restaurant had white plastic chairs for their outside setting, inside the dinning area, you can find these black steel chairs.
When defense witness Sebastian Seno was in the witness stand, one of the defense lawyers tried to question him during the direct examination as to why there were white and black chairs in the restaurant, the Judge stop him from explaining. "We have to present the owner," Ocampo used as an excuse.
3. Lourdes Montalvan, the second defense witness who earlier testified that she was "never far away from Paco" in the evening of July 16, 1997, was not in the picture.
THE TRUTH: Lourdes Montalvan, in the same court hearing this lawyer is talking about, testified she left earlier together with Jheanessa Fonacier and Maharlika Shulze. That's why Jheanessa and Maharlika also does not appear in any of the pictures either. The pictures were taken by Raymond Garcia after they already had left.
From government prosecutor Teresita Galanida:
1. Raymond Garcia had no camera with him. This is what prosecutor Galanida tried to impress in court when defense witness Maharlika Schulze was asked by her if she saw Raymond come in bringing a camera. Shulze said no. "Thank you for that information," Galanida said afterwards throwing no follow up questions about the pictures.
THE TRUTH: Raymond left his camera in his car when he came in late to the party. It was only after Maharlika, Jheanessa and Leah left R and R when he got his camera and started taking pictures.
2. Paolo Celso was wearing a different "outfit" in another shot supposedly taken the same night.
THE TRUTH: In one picture, photo A, Paolo was wearing a jacket, which he then took off, as captured in photos B and C.
From Judge Ocampo:
1. Why the pictures were clear when these were taken past midnight?
THE TRUTH: The camera had a flashbulb ...dahhh.
2. "There was switching," the judge excitedly shouted in open court (as if showing he was able to have helped solve the prosecution's case by this). He recalled seeing a photo published in SUN STAR DAILY which showed a hand waving behind Larrañaga's head and not one of the photos being presented in court that day showed this.
THE TRUTH: It was not a hand waving that appeared in the SUN STAR DAILY, but the image of Paolo Manguerra.
Even after showing him a copy of the said newspaper, he still insisted, "there was switching."
Even after prosecutor Ramon Duyongco stood up and said "in fairness to the defense" the hand Ocampo was referring to was an "image of a person," the judge adjourned the hearing and immediately left the courtroom without clarifying whether his observation was right or wrong.
In the Supreme Court decision of February 3, 2004, it states on page 58, "while it may be possible that Larrañaga took the mid-term examinations in Fundamentals of Cookery and that he and his friends attended a party at the R and R Bar and Restaurant, also in Quezon City, however it could be that those events occurred on a date other than July 16, 1997.
THE TRUTH: My daughter, Marianne, who is based in Cebu and was only in Manila from July 16 until July 20 of that, year 1997. Paco left for Cebu on the early evening of the 17th and went back to Manila in the afternoon of July 20, the same day Marianne came back to Cebu.
So there is no way that the pictures submitted in court could have been taken some other time. Marianne and Paco couldn't have been together in the same picture, or for that matter, in the same party on any other night of that year except on the evening of the 16th of July, 1997.
This is what my daughter, Marianne would have testified if only the court and the prosecutors would have allowed her to.
Furthermore, the defense tried to show proof that the three pictures presented in court, was actually a series of pictures taken from a disposable camera on the evening of of July 16, starting with pictures taken at a school program where witness Raymond Garcia delivered a speech. A copy of the program presented in court showed Garcia's part.
However, the prosecutors in cooperation with the judge clearly manipulated the court proceedings and successfully blocked their presentation.
Commenting on the the Supreme Court decision “while it may be possible that Larrañaga took the mid-term examinations in Fundamentals of Cookery, however it could be that those events occurred on a date other than July 16, 1997”: (Do we see a ‘reasonable doubt’ in this statement from the justices of the high court?).
The school term for Paco’s school is only 2 months per term and 5-terms per year. And they only have 2 exams per term, a mid-term exams and a final-term exams. It would not have been called a mid-term exams if it has held at the end of the term. The final-term exams was held in the month of August. Paco then was arrested in September. So he only had two chances of taking his exams in school, the mid-term in July 16-17, 1997 and the final-term sometime in August of1997. They tried to arrest Paco on the 15th of September 1997 in Manila.
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