PEP EXCLUSIVE: Janelle Manahan still bent on seeking justice for Ramgen Revilla’s murder

Atty. Argee Guevarra (right) says complainant Janelle Manahan (center) doesn’t need to appear at court hearings unless the defense lawyer calls her at the witness stand. “Despite observations that she has moved on, it still doesn’t lessen her commitment to seek justice in this case,” he adds.


Halos dalawang taon na ang nakalilipas ngunit pursigido pa rin ang kampo ni Janelle Manahan, 24, na makamit ang hustisya para sa napaslang na kasintahang si Ramgen Jose Magsaysay Bautista—o mas kilala sa screen name nito na Ramgen Revilla (1989-2011).

Ayon sa legal counsel ni Janelle na si Atty. Argee Guevarra, patuloy pa rin ang pagdinig sa kaso at naniniwala siyang malakas ang mga isinumite nilang ebidensiya laban sa mga akusado.

Pahayag ni Atty. Guevarra sa eksklusibong panayam ng PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) noong September 3, “We submitted already our documentary and testimonial evidence. That’s why we have a formal offer of evidence.”

Kabilang dito ang witness account ni Janelle, na itinuturo ang kapatid ni Ramgen na si Ramona Bautista, 23, na kasama nang mangyari ang krimen noong October 28, 2011; ang sworn statement ni Ronald Ancajas, personal assistant ni Ramgen na naroon din noong gabing iyon; sworn statement ng whistleblower na si Ruel Puzon, na umamin na isa siya sa mga inutusang pumatay kay Ramgen noong pinaplano pa lang umano ang krimen; at pati na rin affidavit ng mga kapulisan na nag-imbestiga sa kaso.

Sabi ni Atty. Guevarra, “These are part of legal procedure. After that, tapos na kaming mag-present ng ebidensiya, ang susunod naman ay defense.

"Yun pa lang hinintay namin—yung hearing dates, kung kailan mag-start ulit.”

Noong May 28, 2013 huling dininig ang kaso sa Parañaque Regional Trial Court, Branch 274.



DETERMINED JANELLE. Aminado si Atty. Guevarra na tila naka-recover na ang kliyente niyang si Janelle mula sa trauma ng trahedya ng pagpaslang kay Ramgen.

Sa katunayan, noong April 8 huling namataan si Janelle sa red carpet premiere ng indie film na Bad Romance, kung saan isa siya sa cast members.

Kasama ni Janelle na dumalo sa nasabing event ang bago niyang kasintahan na si DM Sevilla, na tulad niya ay naging finalist din sa dating reality show ng ABS-CBN na Star Circle Quest Season 2.

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Ngunit ginarantiya ni Atty. Guevarra na buo pa rin ang suporta ni Janelle sa kaso sa kabila ng mga pagbabago sa buhay nito ngayon.

Saad niya, “She hasn’t wavered with her resolve to see this case through its conclusion.

"Despite observations that she has moved on, that she is turning a new page in life—she has become a businesswoman and has entered into a new relationship—it still doesn’t lessen her commitment to seek justice in this case.”

Sa text message naman ni Atty. Gueverra sa PEP noong Lunes, September 9, nilinaw nito kung bakit hindi nakakadalo si Janelle sa mga nakaraang court hearing (February 26 at May 28).

“No need for her to attend unless defense calls her to the witness stand.”

Sa ngayon ay tahimik daw ang buhay ni Janelle, lalo pa’t wala naman itong natatanggap na death threat kahit na siya ang itinuturing na primary witness sa kasong pagpaslang kay Ramgen.

Sabi ni Atty. Guevarra, “The threat level has abated. I think that has something to do with the fact that media has closely followed this case.

"Yung public hype has apparently dissuaded the motive of individuals who may consider causing harm upon the life of Janelle.”



DEFENSE’S PETITION FOR BAIL. Nabanggit din ni Atty. Guevarra na nakatanggap siya noong July 24 ng kopya ng court order ni Judge Fortunato Madrona, na inatasan ang mga akusado na magsumite ng mga dokumento para sa kanilang petisyon na pansamantalang makalaya.

Humaharap sa kasong murder at frustrated murder ang nakababatang kapatid ni Ramgen at itinuturing umanong “mastermind” na si RJ Bautista; sina Ryan Pastera, Glaiza Visda, at Norwin dela Cruz na nagsilbi umanong “middle man”; at “alleged gunmen” na sina Francis Tolisora at Michael Nartea.

Sabi ni Atty. Guevarra, “Ang last incident, the accused were ordered to submit their memorandum in relation to their petition of bail. Hindi pa nare-resolve ‘yan.

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“Si Ryan Pasteras nakapag-submit na. Si RJ Bautista nakapag-file na. Sila pa lang dalawa.

“My guess is the court will first resolve the memorandum [RJ Bautista and other respondents’ petition for bail] submitted by several of the accused [before they settle our camp’s formal offer of evidence during the last court hearing].”

Sa isang hiwalay na panayam, kinumpirma ni Atty. Roberto Makalintal Jr. ng Parañaque RTC Branch 274 ang pagpasa ng petisyon ng mga akusado na makapagpiyansa.

Nagsadya ang PEP sa kanilang tanggapan noong September 4 upang makahingi ng kopya ng mga dokumentong isinumite nina RJ at iba pang akusado, ngunit nataong sinusuri pa ito sa sala ni Judge Madrona.

Paliwanag ni Atty. Makalintal Jr., “Submitted for resolution ang petition of bail ng accused last month.

“Tapos na yung hearing, so pinag-submit yung [concerned] parties ng memorandum. Iba-iba, e.

“Maraming accused. Yung iba nag-extend, yung iba nag-file on time.

“So, nung kumpleto na yung period para mag-file sila ng memorandum, nag-order si Judge Fortunato na submitted for resolution.”

Tinatayang 30 days ang hihintayin bago lumabas ang resolusyon kung pahihintulutan ng korte na pansamantalang makalaya ang mga suspek o hindi.

“Pag tapos na ang resolution for bail, trial of the merits na,” dagdag pa ni Atty. Makalintal.

Sinubukan din ng PEP na hingin ang contact details ng defense legal counsel na si Atty. Jeffrey Hepte mula sa tanggapan ng Parañaque Regional Trial Court.

Ngunit nagpalit daw ng address ang opisina nito kaya’t hindi namin ito nahingan ng komento tungkol sa estado ng kaso ng kanyang kliyente na si RJ.

Nagsadya rin ang PEP sa Parañaque City Jail noong September 4 upang kumustahin ang lagay ni RJ.

Ngunit ayon sa tumatayong warden doon, halos isang taon na mula nang ilipat si RJ sa Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) sa Camp Bagong Diwa sa Taguig.

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Hindi rin basta-basta maaaring makapasok sa SICA, na nasa loob ng Camp Bagong Diwa compound, dahil kailangan muna raw mag-secure ng permit na makapanayam ng media ang sinumang detainee roon mula sa headquarters ng Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) sa Quezon City.

Ganunpaman, nanatiling bukas ang PEP sa anumang pahayag na nais iparating ng kampo ng mga akusado.



NEXT STEP OF JANELLE’S CAMP. Ang mga susunod na court hearing, kung saan ipriprisinta ng mga akusado ang kanilang depensa, ang pinaghahandaan ngayon ng kampo ng prosecution.

Saad ni Atty. Guevarra, “We’re still waiting kung kailan ang next hearing.

"Nag-follow up kami sa korte, nire-resolve yata muna yung petition for bail, then we will be notified with the new set of schedule for the presentation of the defense evidence.

"By then, magkikita-kita ulit tayo diyan.

“Since the trial would involve the presentation of the defense evidences, we will just demolish the testimonies or impeach the credibility of the witnesses that the defense will be presenting.”

Ano ang inaasahan niyang depensa ng mga akusado?

“Well, siguro mga alibi ng other members of the Bautista family. Si Ramona is still at Turkey, she’s still at large.”

Ang tinutukoy ni Atty. Gueverra ay si Ramona Bautista, na kakuntiyaba diumano ni RJ sa pagplano sa pagpatay sa kapatid nilang si Ramgen.

Wala pa rin daw siyang natatanggap na balita kung nasaan na ngayon si Ramona, na tumakas ng Pilipinas patungong Turkey noong November 4, 2011.

Noon ding buwang iyon ay napag-alaman na lumipat ito sa bansang Cyprus at doon nanirahan kasama ang Turkish husband nitong si Engin Tuna Bulbulogu.

Sabi ni Atty. Guevarra, “Wala. We haven’t received reports regarding the whereabouts or how Ramona is conducting her life in Turkey. The last we heard was she [transferred] from Turkey to Cyprus.”

Ganunpaman ay hindi raw nawawalan ng pag-asa ang prosekusyon pagdating sa pag-usad ng kaso dahil tuluy-tuloy pa rin naman ito.

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Patuloy niya, “It’s going through the normal case [procedure]. Because of the number of the accused, they are all required to have their own respective defenses.

“If you’re asking if there’s something unusual, I don’t think there’s anything that will lead me to suspect that there’s something unusual with regards to the pace of the trial.

“It’s really like that, yung justice system natin.

“So, we’re appreciative of the fact that there are certain media elements, like PEP, monitoring the progress of the case. That’s very important.”

Sa pagkaalamam din ni Atty. Guevarra, kung hindi man tuluyang inihinto ay bahagya na lamang ang suportang pinansiyal na ibinibigay sa Bautista clan ng kaanak nilang mga Revilla.

“Those who are financially advantaged in the Bautista/Revilla clan have been withholding support for the Magsaysay clan.

"Of course, if the financial capacity is restricted, it’ll be harder to employ financial means to hurt our cause.”

Dagdag pa niya, “We have heard, we have common friends embedded ’ika nga sa Bong Revilla’s family, they know the truth.

"And the truth is not on the side of [Ramgen’s siblings]. They apparently know what happened.

“They just didn’t want to say any disparaging remarks [or] make incriminatory statement that will cast their kadugo, not only in a bad light but with criminal consequences."


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