Boratong Drug Trafficking Case Revived

By Joel Roja/Asianjournal.com

MANILA – Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez on Monday denied the appeal of the officers Eastern Police District to set aside the ruling of the Pasig Prosecutor’s Office issued on May 23, 2007 dismissing the murder complaint against Amin Imam Boratong in connection with the killing of a media asset last year.

The charges against Boratong, the suspected owner of the P900-million shabu market in Pasig City, and three other accused — his second wife Memie Police Officer 2 Ramir Along and Nashir Labay – were dropped by the Pasig Prosecutor’s Office for lack of evidence.

The four were being blamed for the killing GMA 7 informant German Colisao, who supposedly took a video footage of the drug den before it was dismantled by government authorities.

In a three-page resolution, Gonzalez denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the Eastern Police District Office and state witness Samir Palao seeking to sustain the indictment of Boratong.

Palao, who was once working for Boratong, told investigators that Boratong and Memie had ordered Colisao killed after the latter was discovered taking video footage of the shabu market on November 14, 2005.

Police said Colisao was killed on November 17, 2005 and his body was found dumped on a Pasig street with three gunshot wounds.

“After a careful scrutiny of the records of the instant case vis-à-vis the arguments posed by the complainant and respondents, we are of considered view that no compelling reason exists to depart from our previous resolution dated may 23, 2007,” Gonzalez said.

The DOJ chief said that it is not convinced with the argument of the complainant that the that the issue on the credibility of a witness should be left to the discretion of the trial court, thus, the justice department should have not entertained the petition for review filed by Boratong and his co-accused since an information has already been filed with the court,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said the EPD’s reliance on the case of Crespo vs Mogul is misplaced. In the said case the Supreme Court held that once a complaint is filed in the court, any disposition of the case as its dismissal or conviction or acquittal of the accused rests in the sound discretion of the court.

He said that there is nothing in the Crespo case that prohibits the DOJ secretary from accepting or deciding on an appeal filed by an accused.

“Finally, for failure of herein complainant to present additional proof and evidence clearly showing that respondents authored the murder of Colisao, we are constrained to deny the instant. For determination of probable cause may not solely rest on conjectures and surmises but on concrete proof positively showing person’s  culpability on the crime charge,” Gonzalez said.

In his May 23, 2007 decision, Gonzalez said despite Palao’s positive identification of the suspect, the police failed to establish a chain of events that Boratong indeed authored Colisao’s killing, and that complainant’s statements were adequate to justify a reasonable conclusion that the killing of the victim was perpetrated by respondent Boratong.

(www.asianjournal.com)

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