- The DOJ prosecutor has dismissed the case against the man accused of masterminding the murder of his wife and child in Sta. Rosa
- The prosecutor cited lack of corroborative evidence in dismissing the complaint
- The testimony of another witness was also junked for lack of credibility
MANILA, Philippines – A Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutor has junked the parricide case against the man who was accused of masterminding the killing of his wife and their one-year-old child inside their home in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for lack of evidence.
Deputy City Prosecutor Oscar Co dismissed the case against Ricardo ‘Richard’ Sta. Ana, the husband of 29-year-old Pearl Sta. Ana whose body was found with multiple fatal blows to the head and body caused by a hard object last March 2. The couple’s son, Denzel, was also killed by the assailant/s.
In a 14-page resolution, the prosecutor said there is insufficient evidence to link Sta. Ana to the murder, especially that the complaint is based solely on the testimony of Ramoncito Galo; the man who was allegedly hired by the husband to kill his wife.
Galo implicated Sta. Ana in the murder and claimed he was contracted, along with another man named “Bryan”, by the husband for P30,000 each to kill his wife and son out of jealousy.
Never met the hired killers
The two were caught on CCTV as the men who posed as telecom repairmen and entered the victim’s house before they were found dead.
Galo claimed in his testimony that Ricardo Sta. Ana, who goes by the name “Jeff”, met them last February 29 to give the P10,000 down payment. They were allegedly given the balance P50,000 in Alabang after they showed “Jeff” the video of the crime.
Galo’s testimony was supported by another witness – a tricycle driver named Alexander Villamante.
But Sta. Ana denied meeting Galo on February 29 or on the alleged date he paid the P50,000.
He argued he never left his house on the said date. He also claimed he cannot raise the amount to pay the killer since he is jobless and relies only on the support of his OFW mother.
He also denied meeting Galo on March 2 since he went to Cubao that day to apply for a job. To support his claim, Sta. Ana presented a bus ticket and a CCTV footage showing he was nowhere near the area in Alabang on the said date.
Lack of corroborative evidence
In dismissing the complaint against Sta. Ana, the prosecutor said that the extrajudicial confession of Galo lacks the “indispensable requisite of corroboration by other evidence.”
“Independent evidence of conspiracy must first be given before the admission of a conspirator may be received against his co-conspirator. In this case, there is absolutely no evidence adduced to establish conspiracy among Ramoncito, Ricardo and a certain Bryan,” the resolution read.
The prosecutor also dismissed Villamante’s testimony for lack of credibility.
Jealousy not sufficient proof
Furthermore, the resolution said suspicion of infidelity of his wife was not enough to prove that the husband masterminded the killing.
“While such knowledge of the said relationship may fan the embers of suspicion against Ricardo to commit the crime, speculation such as this cannot be the basis of a criminal prosecution,” it read.
In defending their decision, the prosecutors added that while they sympathize with the family of the victims, it is their solemn duty “to have a cautious and thorough examination of the records” before them so that the right to liberty of other persons will not be prejudiced.