DOJ clears Nida Blanca aide in murder case

"It's a good thing. Now, I can focus on prosecution. WhenTita Elena [dela Paz] was accused, nahati attention ko. It's a big mistake, the testimony of oneperson [Francisco]. I knew in my heart she was innocent," says Nida Blanca'sdaughter Kaye Torres about the decision released by the Department of Justice.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) cleared Elena dela Paz from any involvement in the murder of actress Nida Blanca on November 2001. (Click here to read related article.)

Based on the report of GMA News yesterday, December 8, theDOJ also approved in its 12-page resolution the petition for review filed by Dela Paz, Nida's former assistant. The said petition citedsufficient basis to declare her innocent.

Dela Paz was named as anaccomplice in the killing of the veteran actress after a certain RannyFrancisco testified that she was with Nida before she was killed.

In an interview, Dela Paz was in tears while expressing herrelief over the DOJ's decision.

"Nabunutan ako ng tinik. Nagpapasalamat ako sa Diyos.Pag naaalala ko po, dinadasal ko rin mabigyan siya [Nida] ng justice," said Dela Paz.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez explained thedecision of his department.

"[Francisco] saw what would seemlike Elena. When standing alone, the testimony of Francisco would stand forprobable cause, but against other testimonies the weight of Francisco's wasn'tas strong as we thought. We should use benefit of the doubt," said Secretary Gonzalez.

Nida's daughter Kaye Torres also feltrelieved that Dela Paz was absolved from the case. She also said that she never thought of Dela Paz being involvedon the murder of her mother.

She further said, "It's a good thing. Now, I can focus onprosecution. When Tita Elena was accused, nahati attention ko. It's a big mistake, the testimony of oneperson [Francisco]. I knew in my heart she was innocent."

Nida, or Dorothy Acueza Jones in real life, was foundstabbed to death at the back seat of her car parked at the Atlanta Center inGreenhilss, San Juan City on November 7, 2001.

The principal suspect in the murder was Nida's Americanhusband Roger "Rod" Strunk, who reportedly committed suicide in Tracy California on July 2007. (Click here to read related article.)





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