MANILA, Philippines—Janelle Manahan, girlfriend of slain aspiring actor Ramgen Bautista, was chirpy as she arrived at the Parañaque Regional Trial Court Branch 274 yesterday.
Wearing a yellow blouse, jeans and a pair of shoes with six-inch heels, Manahan chatted and laughed with her mother as they left for 4 Presidents Ave., BF Homes, Parañaque City, the house of the Bautistas where Ramgen was shot dead on the night of Oct. 28, for an ocular inspection to be led by Judge Fortunito Madrona.
But as the inspection got underway, Manahan’s demeanor turned serious. At one point, the judge halted the inspection due to a technicality although Manahan insisted on revisiting Ramgen’s room on the second floor of the well-kept house where the shooting occurred.
When she entered Ramgen’s room, her tears flowed as a large flat-screen TV played a video showing her boyfriend greeting his brother, Ram Joshua, for being accepted at the Philippine Military Academy.
The office chair where Manahan said she was seated when she was shot, faced the door. A bloodied pillow was at its foot. The bed sheets seemed neatly arranged and the windows near the top of the bed were open, the occasional breeze ruffling the curtains.
At this point, Manahan rushed inside the bathroom and locked herself in. She stayed there, sobbing, for about 20 minutes.
“She’s inconsolable,” Resty Mendoza, one of her lawyers, said.
Save for a few spots of blood on the couch in the living room and on some of the curtains, all the traces of blood throughout the house had been mopped up. Despite this, Ramgen’s 14-year-old brother said that the victim’s room was left untouched.
“Everything in this room was untouched. Even the bed sheets and the arrangement of the furniture were not changed,” he said.
He added that after the shooting, he and his family left their home and moved to a building in Imus, Cavite.
While the media were talking to Ramgen’s brother, Mahanan was whisked away, still sobbing, through a backdoor. Her aides said she did not want to talk to the media.
The ocular inspection, however, was cut short after the judge noted that some of the accused were not present.
“The ocular inspection is a proceeding which is part and parcel of the trial, especially in criminal cases wherein the accused have all the right to be present and to appeal, unless they have [signed] a waiver of appearance,” Madrona said.
He then reset the inspection to April 17, at 2 p.m.