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Court defers inclusion of 3 suspects in Nida Blanca murder

August 11, 2006 12:16pm
A Pasig City trial court judge deferred Friday the proposed inclusion of three more persons as defendants in the murder case of actress Nida Blanca, radio station dzBB reported.

Judge Amelia Fabros of the Pasig regional trial court-Branch 160 gave retired Brig. Gen. Galileo Kintanar, Mike Martinez and Elena dela Paz 10 days to comment on the move to include them in the list of respondents.

Defense lawyers sought additional time to respond to the prosecution’s motion, claiming that while they got a copy of the petition, "there was no copy of the preliminary investigation that supposedly was the basis of their inclusion in the list."

Public Attorneys Office (PAO) head Persida Acosta acted as Dela Paz's counsel while Rodolfo Jimenez represented Kintanar.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has asked the court to include Kintanar and Martinez, alongside Blanca’s husband Rod Strunk, as principal suspects and Dela Paz as accomplice in the 2001 murder.

Strunk is currently in the US fighting off extradition to the Philippines. Martinez, on the other hand, remains missing to this day.

Kaye Torres, Blanca's daughter, had earlier asked the DOJ to exclude Dela Paz, longtime assistant of the late actress, as among the respondents in her mother's murder.

She vouched for the innocence of Dela Paz, belying the statement of witness Rannie Francisco that he saw Dela Paz at the Atlanta Center building in San Juan on the same night - Nov. 6, 2001 - that Blanca was murdered.

Torres has likewise terminated the services of lawyer Harriet Demetriou in the legal proceedings of her mother's murder case.

In a letter dated August 9, Torres noted that the attorney-client relationship between her and Demetriou was no longer suitable.

Demetriou has confirmed her termination as counsel for Torres but refused to provide additional details.-GMANews.TV
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