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Ramgen Case Update: Court dismisses charges against Furuyama couple

State Prosecutor Lamberto Fabros dismissed the charges filed by actress Janelle Manahan against couple Gail Bautista-Furuyama and Hiro Furuyama for the murder of actor Ramgen Bautista, known as Ram Revilla in the entertainment industry, according to Inquirer News last Wednesday.

Recall that Ramgen’s sister Gail and brother-in-law Hiro were being dragged in the case. But Parañaque Prosecutor’s Office, during the preliminary investigation, found no sufficient evidence that would support the indictment of the said couple.

The five-page resolution of Prosecutor Fabros dated August 16, ruling the dismissal of murder and frustrated murder charges due to lack of evidence, was duly approved by Prosecutor Amerhassan Paudac and Senior Assistant City Prosecutor Apolinario Quetulio Jr.

Fabros stressed that there’s hardly any overt act on the end of the Furuyama couple that would prove direct participation whether in the premeditation or in the consummation stage of Ramgen’s murder and Janelle’s frustrated murder attempt.

Dismayed by the dismissal of charges against the Furuyamas, Manahan, through her legal counsel Atty. Resty Mendoza, intends to file a petition for review praying for the reversal of the resolution.

Secretary Leila De Lima, in turn, assured Manahan’s camp that her office shall accommodate the petition for review subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice (DOJ) Undersecretary in Parañaque, according to a GMA news story.

Manahan’s murder and frustrated murder allegations were only supported by her testimony along the course of the preliminary investigation.

According to a Manila Bulletin  report, Manahan noticed that the Furuyama couple didn’t manifest grief when they visited her in the emergency room along with two other siblings–Ramon Joseph and Ragene. She also noticed that Gail didn’t panic, and was instead calm, when Ramona called for help over the phone.

According to the narration of Manahan along the course of the preliminary investigation, there were three of them in the room when the unfortunate incident took place. Ma.Ramona “Mara” Bautista was asking for a video from Ramgen earlier, before the masked suspect wearing a jacket entered the room and shot Manahan twice. Ramgen, provoked by gunshots directed at his girlfriend, engaged in a brawl with the gunman prior to getting shot and stabbed to death.

Ramona left and promised to be back after seeking for help, but she ended up breaking her promise, leaving the seriously injured Manahan struggling to contact her friends and relatives for help all by herself through her mobile phone.

Meanwhile, GMA News reported that Manahan asked the DOJ, through her lawyer Atty. Argee Guevarra, for further adjustments in government security right after the dismissal of charges against the Furuyama couple.

Ramgen Case Timeline

October: On October 28, 2011, Ramgen Revilla was killed by a gunman at the Bautista Residence in BF Homes Parañaque, while his girlfriend, Janelle Manahan, suffered from two serious gunshot wounds on the face.

Initial suspects Michael Jay Nartea and Roy Francis Tolisora, through their counsel Ana Luz Crystal Tenorio, claimed that the murder was supposed to take place on October 11 had they pursued the original plan when they visited the victim. The two suspects allegedly backed out from the murder plan, and so as the two other prospect killers Ruel Puzon and Loyd Comeda who were asked to carry out the murder on October 12.

Ramon Joseph Revilla and Ma. Ramona Revilla, siblings of Ramgen, were tagged as primary suspects. Three other suspects were tagged as middlemen, namely Ryan Pastera, Glaiza Visda, and Norwin dela Cruz.

November: Ramon Joseph was arrested, denied of bail, and detained at the Parañaque city jail. Ramona fled to Turkey after recanting statements before police investigators.

Task Force Ramgen asked the DOJ to put the names of Pastera, Visda, and dela Cruz on the watchlist order. Vista and dela Cruz surrendered, and might be considered as state witnesses.

December: Janelle Manahan was granted to be placed under the Witness Protection Program of the DOJ, but failed to seek for approval of earlier request to place the Furuyama couple on the watchlist.

January 2012: Ramon Joseph pleaded not guilty before the RTC Branch 274.

Ramona’s camp filed a petition for review before the DOJ, for the reversal of the indictment case filed by the local prosecutor’s office against Ramona.

Pastera surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation after Judge Fortunito Madrona issued an arrest warrant.

Pastera, Visda, and dela Cruz pleaded not guilty in the arraignment proceedings, too.

March: Security was tight during the pretrial of the Ramgen murder case, courtesy of Task Force Ramgen headed by Chief Inspector Enrique Sy.

Conspiracy theory among the suspects emerged as Manahan’s legal counsel Atty. Mendoza stressed that the six respondents knew each other.

April: Manahan revisited the crime scene during the ocular inspection, although the event was rescheduled after a week due to the absence of suspects.

May: Ramon Joseph asserted that the investigation was poorly done, and that the prosecution lacked sufficient evidence. It is also noteworthy that he reacted on the testimony of the witness presented by the prosecution during the hearing of the suspects’ petition for bail.

June: Puzon, adopted as a witness, was subject to direct examination whereas he testified on their initial attempt to kill Ramgen on October 12. He was asked to identify the suspects such as Pastera, Bautista, Nartea, and dela Cruz along the course of the hearing.

July: Puzon was cross-examined by Bautista’s counsel during the petition for bail hearing whereas he was attacked for certain inconsistencies, not to mention his motives for testifying before the court.

August: Another day in court for Puzon’s cross-examination by Atty. Tenorio representing Nartea and Tolisora.

Prosecutor Fabros drafted the resolution recommending the dismissal of charges against Gail and Hiro Furuyama on the grounds of insufficiency of evidence.

September: Prosecutor’s resolution was released, dismissing murder and frustrated murder charges of Manahan against the Furuyama couple for lack of probable cause as the complaint fell short on evidence.

Manahan’s camp decided to file a petition for review before the DOJ to reverse the resolution. She also sought for security adjustments from the DOJ due to continuous threats.