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Leviste can post bail, court says murder evidence 'weak'

A Makati court has allowed former Batangas governor Jose Antonio Leviste, who is charged with the murder of a long-time aide, to post bail, radio station dzBB reported Monday. Judge Elmo Almeda of Makati regional trial court branch 150 said in a 17-page ruling that Leviste is entitled to temporary release if he posts a bail bond of P300,000 because the evidence against him in the murder case is weak. The court said that prosecutors had not shown that the three elements of murder – treachery, cruelty and premeditation – were present in the crime for which Leviste has been charged. Leviste, estranged husband of leading opposition senatorial candidate Loren Legarda, is accused of murdering his aide Rafael Delas, who had worked him for 42 years. Delas Aslas, 68, was found shot dead on January 12 at an office in the 9th floor of the Leviste-owned LPL Tower in Legaspi Village, Makati City. DzBB also reported that Department of Justice Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco admitted that they have not had witnesses show just how Delas Alas was shot. The justice department is still studying if it will appeal Almeda's decision. Leviste was initially charged with homicide but the DOJ decided that the charge be upgraded to murder. -GMANews.TV