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CA affirms conviction of exec’s kidnappers

By: Rey G. Panaligan

The Court of Appeals has affirmed a trial court decision that convicted 19 persons in 2009 for the 2004 kidnapping for ransom with homicide of Betty Chua-Sy, an executive of Coca-Cola Philippines.

In a decision written by Associate Justice Carmelita Salandanan, the CA ruled that there was conspiracy among those convicted by the trial court to deprive Chua-Sy of her liberty and to demand a ransom for her release.

Affirmed was the life imprisonment imposed by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court on Alvin Labra, Cesar Amado, Benedicto de Lima, Mariolito Demol, Edith Alazer, Silverio Superable, Renato Superable, Ramon Demol, Ernesto Callos, Fidel Superable, Rodolfo Artoza, Hector Cornista, Jose Artoza Jr., Vicencio Soliat, Ciderio Macanib, Ramil Victoriano, Gerardo Anover, and Alejandro Aldas. Hunk Cornista, the 19th accused, is still at-large.

“A careful examination of the records shows that there was conspiracy among the accused-appellants since each of them played a role in the commission of the crime,” the CA said.

“The collective and concerted acts of the accused-appellants before, during, and after the commission of the crime clearly proved that they conspired with one another to attain a common purpose of depriving Betty Sy of her liberty and demanding a ransom money in exchange for her release,” it added.

Case records showed that Chua-Sy was kidnapped on November 17, 2004 in Novaliches, Quezon City on her way to the office on board her Toyota Rav 4.

One of the suspects, members of the Waray-Waray kidnap-for-ransom gang, shot the victim on her hip and sought a P10-million ransom from her family.

The same records also showed that Chua-Sy was brought to Trece Martirez City where she died. Her body was later found wrapped in a garbage bag that was dumped on Pacific Ave. in Don Galo, Parañaque City.

In affirming the trial court’s decision, the CA rejected the accused’s claim that the testimonies of eyewitness Jorlito Lucero and state witness Romeo Dacallos failed to sufficiently prove their direct participation in the kidnapping.

It said conspiracy among the accused was established through the testimony of Dacallos, one of the accused who turned state witness through his positive identification of the appellants (the accused) and their exact participation in the execution of the crime.