CA affirms conviction in 2004 murder of Coca-Cola exec Chua-Sy
MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) affirmed the life imprisonment sentence for the 19 individuals convicted over the 2004 kidnap-murder case of Coca-Cola executive Betty Chua-Sy.
The CA's 4th Division issued a 25-page decision penned by Associate Justice Carmelita Salandanan ruling that the convicts failed to prove their innocence.
Chua-Sy, 33 at the time, was kidnapped in Novaliches in November 2004 while on her way to her office. The convicts shot the victim on the hip as they asked her family for P10 million in ransom.
Chua-Sy's body was later found dumped in Parañaque City wrapped in a garbage bag.
One of the suspects, Romeo Dacallos, turned state witness and identified the convicts as having conspired to commit the crime. The convicts claimed before the appellate court that Dacallo's testimonies, as well as that of another eyewitness, Jorlito Lucero, did not prove their direct participation in the kidnapping.
"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's ruling 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."
Judge Alexander Balut of Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 76 convicted the 19 individuals in 2009 and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Another suspect, Hunks Cornista, is still at large.
"In the case at bench, it was clearly established that the overt acts of the accused appellants were undoubtedly geared towards unlawfully depriving Betty Sy of her liberty and extorting ransom in the amount of P10 million in exchange for her release. Therefore, accused appellants are liable as principals by direct participation in the crime of kidnapping for ransom with homicide," the judge's ruling said.
The convicts who have been affirmed to a sentence of life imprisonment are: 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. – Rappler.com