Sunday, June 14, 2009

Jimenezes on Barrameda slay: 'This is a frame-up'

Ruby Rose Barrameda-Jimenez
MANILA, Philippines – The killing of Ruby Rose Barrameda-Jimenez, sister of Binibining Pilipinas runner-up Rochelle, is a product of an attempt to destroy and "frame up" the Jimenezes, according to Mario Aguinaldo, the family lawyer.

Some people could have taken advantage of the marital problems of the couple to get back at the business interests of the family of Manuel “Third" Jimenez III, husband of Ruby Rose, Aguinaldo said in an interview with GMANews.TV.

The Jimenezes are engaged in several businesses, including fishing and agricultural companies. The family owns a farmland and a poultry farm in Cavite, as well as a number of gasoline stations.

Third’s uncle, Lope Jimenez, also owns the Buena Suerte Jimenez (BSJ) Fishing and Trading Inc. in Navotas, where Ruby Rose’s remains were found sealed inside a steel box submerged off the fish port.

Court cases

"This is a frame-up. When these people learned that the couple has cases in court, they grabbed the opportunity to aggravate the situation and destroy the [Jimenez] family," Aguinaldo said.

He was referring to two petitions that Ruby Rose had filed at the Las Piñas Regional Trial Court against her husband in 2007.

According to Aguinaldo, the couple and their two children lived with Third’s parents in BF Homes in Parañaque.

Two years ago, on Jan. 21, 2007, the couple quarreled over a pair of diamond earrings that Third gave to his wife. Ruby Rose apparently switched her earrings with those of her sister’s – Rochelle.

After their quarrel, Ruby stormed out of their house and never returned.

Later, she filed a petition seeking a temporary protection order, accusing Third of beating her up. The case was dismissed by the court.

Ruby Rose’s second petition asked the court to issue a writ of habeas corpus so she could gain custody over her daughters. The case has remained archived in court since her disappearance.


Aguinaldo said it was possible the Jimenez family may have earned the ire of some employees or business competitors, who could have acted against them.

He said they were still gathering evidence to prove that someone with a grudge against the Jimenez family was behind the killing of Ruby Rose.

The Jimenez camp has repeatedly denied any responsibility in the death of Ruby Rose, saying the Barramedas’ accusation would be considered hearsay because they were based solely on an informant’s statements. (See: Kapatid ng aktres natagpuang nakasilid sa sinimentong drum)

The informant is Manuel Montero, who confessed to the crime and said he was among the people who helped in cementing the steel case. Montero led police investigators to the location of the remains and has identified his supposed "accomplices."

Ruby Rose was identified by her family through the earrings and clothes she was wearing. Dental records also confirmed the body’s identity.

Parents of murder victim Ruby Rose Jimenez, attend a police conference in Taguig. Probers are eyeing seven suspects in the slaying of Ruby Rose, whose body was found in a concrete-encased steel drum in Navotas. Benjie Castro
Montero’s accounts led to the filing of murder charges against him, Ruby Rose’s father-in-law, Third’s uncle Lope, and four other people. (See: Ruby Rose father-in-law, 6 others face murder charges)

Aguinaldo criticized the accusation, saying the location of the body indicated that the Jimenez family had no hand in the crime.

"If they [the Jimenez family] did it, they should have dumped it to higher seas or even transported the body abroad, but not bring it somewhere near their own property," Aguinaldo said.

'We searched for her too'

The Barramedas last saw Ruby Rose’s daughters two years ago. Apart from getting a photo sent through MMS to them by the Jimenez family, Ruby Rose’s relatives have been unsuccessful in getting a glimpse of the two girls.

In March 2007, the Barrameda family was forced to report the disappearance of Ruby Rose to the police after allegedly failing to get assistance from her husband’s family.

Aguinaldo denied the Barrameda family’s claim and said the Jimenez family had been doing its own search for Ruby Rose.

Having strong connections with the fishing network in the Philippines, the Jimenez family had been asking around as far as Mindanao, the family lawyer claimed.

Aguinaldo said he had personally informed the Barramedas of the Jimenez family’s search efforts, but "Ruby Rose’s relatives might have just forgotten about that."

The lawyer said the Jimenez family was fond of Ruby Rose and when the couple’s relationship was on the rocks, it was Ruby Rose’s father-in-law who tried to convince them to reconcile.

In an effort to prevent the escalation of the issue into a severe family feud, the Jimenez camp has asked for the Barramedas’ cooperation in looking for the "real culprits" in the crime.

"The incident is a sad thing. We are one with them in giving justice to Ruby Rose," Aguinaldo said. (See: Ex-actress Barrameda seeks justice for sister's killing)

Sympathy pours in

Ruby Rose's remains now lie at the Funeraria Paz in Sucat, Parañaque.

The Jimenez family said they would not trade accusations with the Barramedas, and instead, allow them to grieve privately.

In an interview with GMA’s "Unang Hirit," Rochelle expressed appreciation to all the friends, classmates, and colleagues of Ruby Rose who expressed their condolences.

She said she was surprised that even people she did not know showed up at the wake of her sister.

Ruby Rose’s remains were discovered on the day of her parents’ wedding anniversary last June 10. Her mother, Asuncion Barrameda, said her anniversary this year was so far the best one.

“Iyon ang pinakamasayang anibersaryo namin [dahil] sa regalong natanggap namin… Iyong anak namin matagal na naming hinihintay, at dumating na kahit sa ganoong sitwasyon [It was our best anniversary because we finally found our daughter, although she was in that state]," Asuncion said.

In the same interview, mother and daughter asked the Department of Social Welfare and Development to help them to get custody of Ruby Rose’s daughters.

The Jimenez family said they were willing to let the children visit the wake of their mother, but objected to the idea of the DSWD stepping into the matter and possibly getting custody over Ruby Rose's daughters.

"The DSWD cannot replace a parents. The girls' mother is gone and now they want to take them away from the father too?" - GMANews.TV

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