April 18, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – A Quezon City court has junked the appeal of the alleged gunman in the murder of international race car driver Ferdinand “Enzo” Pastor to bar the presentation of his taped interview with veteran broadcaster Noli De Castro in court.
In a three-page order, Judge Luisito Cortez of the QC Regional Trial Court Branch 85 said the court denied the motion of accused PO2 Edgar Angel “for utter lack of merit.”
The judge noted that 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.
It can be recalled that last December 29 Angel asked the court to junk its December 4 order, giving ABS-CBN ample time to locate and prepare the footage.
Aside from bringing the taped interview, the court also ordered ABS-CBN, through its duly authorized representative, to appear and testify before the court.
In his motion, the accused said the court should not allow the presentation and replay of the video interview at trial since it is more prejudicial than it is probative.
Angel alleged that the interview was purportedly without the proper context, inaccurate, untruthful, and biased.
He 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 involve footage in the presence of a witness, he said it seems like the court is taking side with the complainant.
In his decision, Cortez said the taped interview must be presented in court since it appears to be a “prima facie” evidence “relevant to the subject of the controversy.”
He noted that a witness should also appear in court to authenticate and identify the object evidence to be the actual thing involved in the litigation.
“Nevertheless, accused Edgar Angel would still be accorded of his right to cross-examine the witness and raised their objections during the presentation of such evidence,” the judge said.
The prosecutors earlier said the interview could help corroborate the notary public’s testimony that Angel executed his affidavit voluntarily.
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.
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.
He said the two were allegedly lovers.
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.
Like Angel, De Guzman was also indicted for murder, while Dalia, who has yet to surface, was charged with parricide for the crime. – RBA