De Lima and lawyers file criminal raps vs Capones, gangmates


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De Lima's lawyers file drug trading charges against Bilibid witness

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima and her lawyers have filed separate criminal complaints against Prosecution witness, convicted murderer and commander of the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang Joel Capones, for trading and selling illegal drugs while serving as an inmate of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) which he confessed under oath and in open court.

In her Complaint-Affidavit filed today (June 9) at the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) in Muntinlupa City, De Lima stressed that despite such unequivocal confession, Capones up to now has not been charged with any crime in relation to the crime he confessed in open court.

The lady Senator from Bicol further stressed she has “personal knowledge of the fact of Mr. Capones’ testimony and the contents thereof” because she was physically present in court when Capones made his confession.

“Mr. Capones’ judicial confession that I personally witnessed constitutes evidence under Sec. 33, Rule 130 of the Revised Rule on Evidence that Mr. Capones indeed committed the crime of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading and that he should be held liable and prosecuted therefor,” she said.

“Here, the judicial confession made by Mr. Capones may be used against him. First, Mr. Capones’ confession clearly involves acknowledgment of his participation in the crime of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading. Second, the confession was categorical and definite.”

“Third, the confession was knowingly and voluntarily made by Mr. Capones, and he was even assisted by a counsel of his own choice, Atty. Mauricio Ulep. Mr. Capones knows or ought to know that the statements were made in open court and under oath, and his counsel conferred with him and explained to him the full consequences of his confession,” she added.

It may be recalled that during the Prosecution’s Direct Examination by Prosecutor Ramoncito Bienvenido Ocampo Jr, Capones confessed his participation in the commission of the crime of conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading, together with his 13 mayores in Sigue Sigue Sputnik, including one Ferdie Morellos, one Reynaldo Punga and one Anton Miya.

The other co-conspirators of Capones, including Morellos, Punga, Miya and 10 other unidentified mayores of Sigue Sigue Sputnik Gang in 2014, are included in the said criminal complaint for the same crime.

Notably, De Lima’s legal counsels, namely, Attys. Teddy Esteban Rigoroso, Filibon Tacardon, Dino De Leon, Rolly Francis Peoro, and Raymond Marvic Baguilat also filed a similar criminal complaint against Capones.

“As counsels on record for one of the accused, Attys. Teddy Esteban F. Rigoroso, Filibon F. Tacardon, Dino S. de Leon, Rolly Francis C. Peoro were present during the trial dates on 16 & 23 February 2021. They have personally witnessed and heard Mr. Capones make the judicial admission on both hearing dates,” their Complaint-Affidavit read.

“Atty. Baguilat, on the other hand, joined the other complainants on 23 February 2021 and personally witnessed Mr. Capones admit to the crime of illegal drug trading and conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading,” it added.

De Lima’s legal counsels stressed that “any lawyer would be remiss of their duties to promote respect for law and legal processes if they ignore that a person admits to a crime and remains impervious.”

De Lima, in a separate statement, questioned why Capones remains “untouched” despite his confession. 

“We are wondering why Capones remains untouched; why the DOJ is not filing a case against him. It’s clear to me that his perjured testimony implicating me in the drug trade is in exchange for exemption from criminal charge. It’s a bargained for testimony. A palpable case of selective prosecution,” she said.

In a personal letter to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra dated Feb. 22, De Lima urged him to use all the powers available under his office to prosecute anyone, without fear or favor, who has been involved in illegal drug trading in NBP such as Capones. (30)

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