Despite confessing to selling kilos of shabu, Bilibid inmate Capones exonerated by Muntinlupa Prosecutor; De Lima appeals


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima filed a motion asking the Office of the City Prosecutor (OCP) of Muntinlupa City to reconsider its decision dismissing criminal complaints she and her lawyers filed against prosecution witness and convicted murderer Joel Capones and his gangmates.

In a nine-page Motion for Reconsideration filed on Sept. 21, De Lima said that Capones’s judicial confession about his participation in the Bilibid drug trade together with his 13 mayores in the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang is enough for the filing in court of criminal raps against them.

Last July 9, De Lima and her lawyers filed separate criminal complaints against Capones and his 13 mayores for trading and selling illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). As a witness for the DOJ Panel of Prosecutors in one of De Lima’s drug cases, Capones confessed to packing and selling shabu with his mayores. Capones waived his right against self-incrimination before making the confession in open court.

In her motion, De Lima accused the City Prosecutor of violating the Rules of Evidence in ruling that a confession is insufficient evidence against the confessor.

De Lima cited Rule 130, Section 33 of the Rules of Evidence that says “the declaration of an accused acknowledging his guilt of the offense charged, or of any offense necessarily included therein, may be given in evidence against him.”

“This means that the confession could have been made in court before a judge, or anywhere else in the world in any other place outside the court room or in the hearing of his own trial,” she said.

The lady Senator from Bicol stressed that anyone who has personal knowledge that a party or accused made an admission against interest or a confession to a crime can testify in court that the accused made such confession at a previous point in time.

“In this case, all the Complainants were present when Respondent Capones testified in Criminal Case No. 17-167 that he conspired and engaged in illegal drug trading,” she said.

De Lima likewise questioned the Resolution in agreeing with what she called as the “warped reasoning of Capones” that his confession is only good against her in Criminal Case No. 17-167 before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 256, but not against him in any proceeding filed against him.

“It is tantamount to grotesquely twisting the criminal justice system to favor one in order to persecute another,” she stressed.

De Lima further said that “the ruling of the [City Prosecutor] dismissing a confession as evidence unless supported by other evidence is not supported by any [jurisprudence]. It is an opinion pulled out of thin air and therefore unfounded in the annals of Supreme Court decisions.”

“Try hard as she may, the City Prosecutor of Muntinlupa will NEVER find any law or jurisprudence in support of this invented, contrived, and very unlawyerly conclusion on the value of a confession as evidence,” she added.

De Lima likened the decision of the Muntinlupa City Prosecutor to what she calls “Makapili” justice, “where hooded informants are pampered and rewarded by the Japanese occupiers, while the innocent townspeople are publicly executed via firing squads on the mere say-so of a paid snitch.” (30)

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