De Lima and lawyers file criminal raps vs Capones, gangmates

De Lima and lawyers file criminal raps vs Capones, gangmates

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — 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 Wednesday (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. (AI/MTVN)

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