Filtered By: News

Evangelista slay suspect now a state witness

A suspect in the killing of used-car dealer Venson Evangelista early this year is now officially a state witness after the presiding judge of the court hearing the case removed his name from the charge sheet. Judge Ma. Luisa Padilla of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 215 said Alfred Mendiola was removed from the information after the court ruled that he "does not appear to be the most guilty" among the accused. "After hearing the testimony of this proposed state witness and the other witness of the prosecution… this Court is satisfied that there is absolute necessity for the testimony of Mendiola because he has knowledge of the commission of the crime subject of this case and there is no direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense, except for his testimony," Padilla said in her 12-page order. Mendiola's application to become a state witness was backed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), which has put him under its Witness Protection Program. In his testimony during the hearing on his motion, Mendiola narrated a detailed account of how their group planned and executed the carnapping of Evangelista’s vehicle. He also positively identified Raymond and Roger Dominguez, the alleged leaders of a carnapping group, as the masterminds in the slaying of Evangelista. Evangelista went missing on Jan. 13, 2011 after accompanying some prospective buyers of his Land Cruiser for a test drive. His charred body was discovered the next day in Nueva Ecija. Mendiola further identified the other accused, Jayson Miranda, Rolando Talban and one alias Joel, as among those who were also involved in the crime. "This court further holds that the proposed state witness does not appear to be the most guilty. He only acted as a poseur-buyer upon the order o the alleged masterminds, the Dominguez brothers. Finally, no evidence was presented that the accused has been at any time convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude," Padilla said in her order. The court also declared that all the evidence adduced in support of the discharge will form part of the trial of the case. - KBK, GMA News