March 3, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The alleged gunman in the murder of international race car driver Ferdinand “Enzo” Pastor has asked a Quezon City court to junk the appeal of the prosecution panel to allow the presentation of his interview with veteran broadcaster Noli De Castro at trial.
In a four-page reply to comment/opposition, accused PO2 Edgar Angel, through his counsel Jesus Fernandez, said the prosecution’s request should be dismissed because his taped interview with De Castro must not be replayed in court due to its inaccuracy and untruthfulness.
Earlier, the prosecution panel said there is no valid ground to object to the said evidence, which is the raw footage and copy of the accused’s interview with De Castro that was aired in “Kabayan Special Patrol” segment of ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol last September 4.
In its comment, the prosecutors argued that opposing the presentation of the accused’s interview simply because it is not favorable to him “is preposterous.”
“And precisely. Any evidence to be presented by the prosecution would naturally be unfavorable to the accused,” they added.
The prosecutors also said since the video of the interview has not even been authenticated and presented, “much less formally offered, this is not the proper juncture to make any objections.”
They said “the object evidence must be authenticated, thus a witness must testify and identify the evidence to be the actual thing involved in the litigation.”
“Here, however, the accused is assailing the presentation of the video of his interview and any witness who may authenticate the same or testify based on personal knowledge of the interview, simply on the ground that the presentation of such interview, would be unfavorable to him,” the prosecutors said.
“This is not a valid ground to object to evidence,” they added.
The prosecutors said the interview could help corroborate the notary public’s testimony that Angel executed his affidavit voluntarily.
But in the reply, Fernandez insisted that the interview contain statements that negatively weighed towards his client.
“The rule in the balancing of interest test in evidence provides that if a particular piece of evidence, like a video, is substantially more prejudicial than it is probative, it may not be allowed in as evidence,” the lawyer said.
“Thus, video interview’s presentation and replay in court must be barred,” he added.
Fernandez further noted that the prosecution’s comment must also be considered as a mere scrap of paper for supposedly filing it passed the 10-day period given by the court.
The prosecution panel filed its comment after Angel asked the court last December 28 to junk its December 4 order, giving ABS-CBN ample time to locate and prepare the footage.
Angel said the court should not allow the presentation and replay of the video interview in court since it is more prejudicial than it is probative.
He alleged that the interview was purportedly without the proper context and biased.
Angel also said he never agreed to such interview and only did it under duress and out of fear for his life as he could not defy his police captors.
If the court allows the presentation of the footage, he said it seems like the court is taking side with the complainant.
Angel initially tagged businessman Domingo “Sandy” De Guzman III and Pastor’s widow, Dalia Guerrero-Pastor as those who masterminded the killing of Pastor on June 12, 2014 in Quezon City.
The two were allegedly lovers.
In his extrajudicial confession, Angel said De Guzman hired him to kill Pastor for a consideration of P100,000 because the latter was physically abusing Dalia.
But he later recanted his testimony, saying it was the police themselves who arrested and detained him at Camp Karingal in Quezon City on August 2014 that prepared it.
He added that the policemen threatened to implicate him in other unsolved crimes in the metropolis if he would not admit to Pastor’s murder.
De Guzman, who is presently detained at Camp Bagong Diwa in Bicutan, Taguig City, was also indicted for murder.
On the other hand, Dalia, who has yet to surface, was charged with parricide for the crime.