Case of Steven Barnes
In the case of Steven Barnes, the evidence for the prosecution consisted of:
- Microscopic analysis of hair found on Barnes’ truck, which was said to match the victim’s, and did not match the hair of Barnes;
- Soil samples from Barnes’ truck taken one year after the crime, was said to have “similar characteristics” with soil from the crime scene;
- There was testimony of a jailhouse informant, who said that Barnes confessed the crime to the informant (shades of Mancao and Aquino’s alleged statements in Las Vegas).
Case of Ryan Matthews
“Fragments of charred bones and other objects were obtained. “..the following conclusions were arrived at:
- The remains recovered from the scene are of human origin.
- At least two adult individuals are present.
- These two individuals are positively identified as MR. SALVADOR “BUBBY” DACER and MR. EMMANUEL CORBITO.”
The PDOJ also failed to apprise the US DOJ of the decision of the Supreme Court in the case of Allado, which held that:
“A human body cannot be pulverized into ashes by simply burning it with the use of gasoline and rubber tires in an open field. Even crematoria use entirely closed incinerators where the corpse is subjected to intense heat. Thereafter, the remains undergo a process where the bones are completely ground to dust.”
"To allege then that the body of Van Twest was completely burned to ashes in an open field with the use merely of tires and gasoline is a tale too tall to gulp” (People v. Allado G.R. No. 113630 May 5, 1994).
Brady (v. Maryland) and its progeny make it the duty of the prosecution to disclose exculpatory material to the defense. The suppression of DNA evidence, or the withholding of jurisprudence favorable to the defense, singly, constitutes a Brady violation; said violation renders the prosecutor susceptible to disciplinary action for prosecutorial misconduct [US v. Byron Mitchell 145 F.3d 572 (3rd Cir. 1998)].
Rule 10.01 - A lawyer shall not do any falsehood, nor consent to the doing of any in Court; nor shall he mislead, or allow the Court to be misled by any artifice.The Court was misled by the submission of Dr. Fortun’s report which positively identified the remains as those of Dacer and Corbito. That identification was proven incorrect by the DNA report, stating that the bones tested negative for human DNA.
The Code of Professional Responsibility also provides that:
Rule 10.02 - A lawyer shall not knowingly misquote or misrepresent the contents of a paper, the language or the argument of opposing counsel, or the text of a decision or authority, or knowingly cite as law a provision already rendered inoperative by repeal or amendment, or assert as a fact that which has not been proved.
Philippine DOJ’s lack of candor in previous cases.
US v. Valentin Linson
At the December 21, 1999 hearing the Philippines did not proffer any evidence to the Court challenging the authenticity of the recantations. Instead, the Philippines offered explanations showing why they could not proffer the recantation evidence. First, their state prosecutor who witnessed the recantations had no telephone and could not be reached. Second, the Senior prosecutor, Mr. Barrios stated that the recantations were never forwarded to him. US v. Valentin Linson 88 F.Supp.2d 1123, District Court of Guam.
Third, the Philippine Government presented an affidavit in which Roberto Calingasan implicated Linson stating “I saw him (Valentin Linson) shoot Bien, the policeman once.” However, defendant has supplied the Court with an affidavit signed by Calingasan in which he denies he signed such statement for the NBI. In the affidavit presented by the defendant Calingasan states that “I did not give NBI a statement … what was written in the statement was not true” and “I did not sign a statement at NBI.” This second statement is signed in a cursive style signature whereas the first one provided by the Philippines only had Calingasan’s name printed in block letters on the signature space.In the Matter of the Extradition of Roger Laurence Strunk (293 F. SUPP 2D 1117)
The PDOJ anchored its finding of probable cause on the confession of Medel, who stated that he was hired by Strunk to commit the crime. Medel confessed, then later recanted his confession in open court, alleging it had been obtained through coercion and torture (page 6).
Commenting on the credibility of Medel, the Court observed:
First, as is evident throughout most of the declarations in this case, the first statement is never good enough. There always seems to be a need to embellish what was initially said in order to make the case better (shades of the Mancao affidavits - Aquino talking of Viña's bungling the job, later, Aquino talking of "Tirahin si Bero"). This fact is not necessarily detrimental, but importantly, the embellishments contain significant inconsistencies (page 7).
The court will not consider the belated evidence submitted by the Philippines filed November 3, 2003. This extradition proceeding is not some movable feast----never to be finished as long as the parties drip evidence into the undersigned, when they feel moved to do so, or after the undersigned makes a comment on the submitted evidence at hearing or in writing.
The inconsistencies moved the Court to state:
“…. the evidence submitted by the Philippines concerning Strunk's participation in the murder of Blanca is so inconsistent and conflicting that it provides little competent evidence to support the conclusion that Strunk hired Medel to murder Blanca. “… the competent, admissible evidence submitted by Strunk obliterates the case presented by the Philippines resting on the Medel confession.”
US Attorney Ken Melikian “did his customary, professional presentation of evidence, and his customary, informative legal briefing. However, as the decision makes clear, the evidence given to Mr. Melikian was not competent. Good as he is, Mr. Melikian could not perform legal alchemy.”