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Evangelista slay case witness accused of blackmail

A witness in the Venson Evangelista slay case has allegedly tried to blackmail two of the accused by demanding P5 million in exchange for not testifying against them. Lawyer Oscar Raro, representing Raymond and Roger Dominguez, said Alfred Mendiola asked his clients to pay up or he will implicate them in the killing of Evangelista, a used-car dealer, in January 2011. Mendiola, however, denied this during Raro’s cross-examination during Monday’s hearing on the motion to discharge him as state witness before the sala of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 Presiding Judge Ma. Luisa Quijano-Padilla. In an interview with reporters during a break at the hearing, Raro said he got the information on the alleged blackmail from the Dominguez’s relatives. Mendiola was cross-examined to determine whether the court would grant the motion for him to be discharged as state witness. Raro asked him several times if he has more evidence pointing to the Dominguez brothers as the culprits behind Evangelista’s killing. Mendiola, in response, maintained that he participated in the crime upon orders from the Dominguez brothers. “Sa lahat ng aking nakita, naranasan, yun lang ang mapapatunay at lahat ng sinunod kong utos ay galing sa magkapatid. Wala akong kakayahan gagawin lahat yun, lalo na ang pumatay," Mendiola said. Meanwhile, the prosecution panel led by Ramoncito Ocampo and Irene Resurrecion, as well as Evangelista’s father Arsenio, said Mendiola was saying the truth when he denied trying to blackmail the Dominguez brothers. “Definitely, walang katotohanan yun. He is not capable of doing that with that kind of group," Mr. Evangelista told reporters. The Dominguez brothers and their alleged right-hand man, Jayson Miranda, are facing charges of car theft with homicide for the slaying of Evangelista. The group allegedly carjacked Evangelista’s Toyota Land Cruiser on Jan. 13, 2011. Evangelista's charred body was found the following day in Nueva Ecija. Mendiola's testimony, on the other hand, was already terminated, but the prosecution will still present one witness during the resumption of the hearing on July 20. — KBK, GMA News