Whitewashing the Esperat case
Is the Department of Justice (DOJ) aiding and abetting the guilty?
The DOJ endorsed the dismissal of the case against the suspected masterminds in the 24 March 2005 slay of columnist Marlene Esperat, even as a court ruled its reinvestigation unauthorized.
Riding on a controversial prosecutor’s findings of the probe seeking the involvement of Department of Agriculture officials Osmeña Montañer and Estrella Sabay, DOJ ruled that it found no probable cause to indict the two for Esperat’s murder, based on a motion submitted to court last 04 July.
But this motion was submitted by DOJ appointed prosecutor Tocod Ronda, the same lawyer who served the suspects, Montañer and Sabay, in filing a libel case against Esperat about a year before the killing.
Nena Santos, the Esperat family’s legal counsel, opposed the motion and asked that Ronda be cited for contempt for conducting a re-investigation in a “case… already filed in court.” Santos also asked for Ronda’s inhibition from the case alleging that the latter “was the same prosecutor that handled the libel case filed by Montañer and Sabay against Esperat in Cotabato City.
CMFR together with the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists (FFFJ) has asked the Supreme Court to change the venue of the trial. We hope that they act on this promptly before it’s too late.