NBI sees holes in Leviste’s testimony

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — Former Batangas Gov. Jose Antonio Leviste has inconsistencies in the narration of the killing of his aide, an official of the National Bureau of Investigation said in court yesterday.

Lawyer Bun Hon Lim, chief of the Criminal Intelligence Division, said the murder victim, Rafael De las Alas, did not arrive at 9 a.m. on Jan. 12, 2007, the day he was shot by Leviste.

Lim also noted that defense witnesses Rey Sandoval and Dennis Amparo were not even inside the LPL Tower, contrary to their earlier testimonies that they heard several gunshots from Leviste’s office on the 9th floor office.

Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco presented the bureau offical yesterday at the resumption of the trial of Leviste’s murder case.

“According to the security logbook, a certain Ka Paeng checked in at the building at 11:45 a.m.,” Lim told Judge Elmo Alameda of the Makati Regional Trial Court Branch 150.

Lim was holding a security logbook obtained from the LPL building; “Ka Paeng” is De las Alas’ nickname.

“The testimony of Attorney Lim and the contents of the logbook only showed the inconsistencies in the assertion of the defense and the bias in the testimonies of its witnesses,” Velasco said, referring to the defense witnesses who are the accused’s employees.

But Leviste downplayed the results of yesterday’s hearing.

“The logbook has been illegally acquired by Prosecutor Velasco when he barged into my office and violated my right to privacy. He even conducted an ocular inspection without a court order,” Leviste said.

“At the end of the day, I am confident that the court will not consider the contents of the logbook as relevant to the hearing. In the first place, presenting the logbook is not proper in the rebuttal phase of the trial.”

Leviste was charged with murder but has insisted that he acted in self-defense.

But the victim’s daughter Dinna insisted that it was not her father’s character to lose temper easily during an argument, pointing out that Leviste intentionally killed him.

During the last hearing in the prosecution’s rebuttal evidence, De las Alas’ 15-year-old son said they had no inkling that their father would kill or die that day.

“My father was his usual self that morning. He ate breakfast with me before driving me to school,” the boy said in open court.

He added that his father cannot be ill-tempered and ready to kill or die that day, as alleged by the former governor, saying he even saw him humming old songs he downloaded for his music player.