Jul 16, 2007

A recap on the important dates and events on Nida Blanca's murder

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Nov. 7, 2001—
The body of actress Nida Blanca, wife of American Rod Strunk, is found at around 8 a.m. in the back seat of her green Nissan Sentra sedan at the Atlanta Center in Greenhills. She has 13 stab wounds, including a fatal wound in the neck.

Nov. 8, 2001—The PNP forms “Task Force Marsha” to widen its probe of the killing. It’s named after her long-running TV sitcom with Dolphy, “John en Marsha.”

Nov. 9, 2001—NBI Director Reynaldo Wycoco says the PNP will lead the investigation of Blanca’s killing. The NBI will only be a supporting unit and that all the evidence and witnesses will be turned over to the police. Chief Supt. Nestorio Gualberto, director of the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, is named head of Task Force Marsha.

Nov. 14, 2001—Nida Blanca is buried at the Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City.

Nov. 18, 2001—Pedro Philip Lucero Medel Jr., supposedly one of the two “hired killers” suspected by the PNP and the NBI, turns himself in, claiming he was “bothered by his conscience.” Medel says that Strunk through a certain Mike Martinez contracted him to torture Nida into producing a document related to her Will.

Nov. 19, 2001—Then Justice Secretary Hernando Perez says that Strunk is now considered a suspect in Nida’s murder.

Nov. 23, 2001—Medel breaks down and claims he was tortured by the PNP-CIDG to admit to the crime and to name Rod Strunk as the alleged mastermind.

Dec. 13, 2001—Strunk is questioned at the NBI for around 13 hours. He submits his 12-page sworn statement.

Jan. 21, 2002—Strunk leaves for the United States to attend to his ailing mother. Strunk was on the Bureau of Immigration watchlist prior to his departure. After signifying he wanted to leave the country to attend to his mother in the United States, he was allowed to leave since no court order was issued against his departure.

July 17, 2002—Wycoco charges three as principals and three as accessories in the murder of Blanca. DOJ charges Strunk with parricide while Medel is charged with murder, together with a Jane Doe, a John Doe and other Does. Charged with obstruction of justice are guards Ricky Alvarez, Roberto Cañete and Diolito Molines, the guards on duty at the Atlanta Center Building at the time of the murder.

Aug. 12, 2002—The NBI asks the DOJ to amend the criminal charge lodged against Strunk from parricide to murder.

Nov. 5, 2002—DOJ terminates its preliminary investigation of Blanca’s murder.

Feb. 14, 2003—DOJ indicts Strunk as the brains behind the murder of Blanca on the strength of the handwritten confession of Medel. The preliminary investigation of a two-man panel of the DOJ established that Strunk indeed ordered Medel to kill Blanca. Strunk and Medel, along with a Jane Doe, were charged with murder at the Pasig City RTC.

All other respondents, including the three security guards at the Atlanta building, are exonerated for lack of evidence.

Feb. 21, 2003—Pasig RTC Branch 156 Judge Alex Quiroz issues a warrant of arrest against Strunk.

Feb. 24, 2003—Chief State Prosecutor Jovencito Zuño orders a justice department panel to start proceedings for the extradition of Strunk.

May 13, 2003—Strunk is arrested by US marshals in the eastern district of California.

May 30, 2003—US Federal Magistrate Gregory Hollows rules that Strunk will remain in the Sacramento county jail while awaiting a July 28 extradition hearing saying that Strunk was a “flight risk” and that his actions suggested he “will do what he must do to avoid appearing in the Philippines.”

June 29, 2003—DOJ looks into reports that the NBI lost a vital document in the case against Strunk.

July 3, 2003—DOJ turns over to the DFA a formal request to the United States to extradite Strunk. The request contained all the “material evidence” needed for his extradition, except for a missing document in which Strunk made a promise to return to the country, Justice Undersecretary Merceditas Gutierrez said.

July 8, 2003—Blanca trial begins.

Oct. 18, 2003—Lawyers of Strunk begin the courtroom battle to block their client’s extradition to the Philippines.

Nov. 12, 2003—Judge Hollows denies the DOJ request for Strunk to be extradited as Medel, the person who fingered him, had recanted his confession. The decision not to extradite Strunk cannot be appealed, according to Alma Mallonga, Strunk’s lawyer. He’s released from jail.

Nov. 15, 2003—In an interview with The Associated Press, Strunk denies killing Blanca and says he lost all his possession because of her death and calls allegations of a dispute over money absurd.

Sept. 28, 2004—Strunk asks the Court of Appeals to reconsider its decision denying his petition to quash the murder case against him for the killing of his wife.

Feb. 18, 2005—The Court of Appeals affirms its previous decision upholding the filing of murder charges against Strunk for the killing of his wife.

March 2005—Strunk, through lawyers from the Siguion Reyna Law Office, files a petition asking the Supreme Court to stop the serving of his arrest warrant. He also asks the high court to throw out the case against him.

April 12, 2005—Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez admits the original copy of the extradition petition against Strunk has been lost to termites.

Nov. 7, 2006—Secretary Gonzalez vows to speed up Blanca’s case and says that there are plans to make another bid for Strunk’s extradition.
Philippine Daily Inquirer

No comments: