By Kristine Felisse Mangunay
The family of Ruby Rose Barrameda will file criminal and administrative charges today against the judge who granted custodial rights to Manuel Jimenez III, the victim’s husband, over their two children five years ago.
Rochelle Barrameda-Labarda, the victim’s sister, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the charges against Judge Gloria Aglugub, formerly of the Las Piñas Regional Trial Court Branch 254, would be filed at the Supreme Court.
She added that afterward, a Mass would be celebrated in front of the Court of Appeals to mark the third anniversary of the retrieval of her sister’s body from the waters off Navotas City.
Labarda said that her family had been planning to file charges against Aglugub for quite some time.
“If it hadn’t been for [the judge’s] decision [in 2007], Ruby Rose would still be alive,” she added.
According to her, it was Aglugub who ordered that Barrameda’s then four-month-old baby remain in the custody of her husband, who now stands accused of having a hand in his wife’s grisly death.
The judge’s order stemmed from Barrameda’s petition for habeas corpus which she filed on Jan. 24, 2007, Labarda added.
This was after Jimenez refused to return their children to the victim, right after he asked for and got permission to bring them with him to a wedding.
At that time, the estranged couple were living separately.
At that time, the couple’s older daughter decided that she wanted to stay with her father since she would be closer to the school where she was studying, Labarda said.
She noted that while that was fine with her sister, there were times when the judge displayed her partiality to Jimenez, particularly when she asked questions to determine who between the couple should get custody of the baby.
Labarda recalled an instance during a court hearing in which the judge told Barrameda to just visit her 4-month-old daughter at Jimenez III’s house at BF Homes in Las Piñas, if she wanted to see her. Barrameda, however, refused, saying that she had been “traumatized” by the beating she suffered in her husband’s hands.
“So (Aglugub) asked (Jimenez III), ‘Will you hurt her?’ And he said, ‘No.’ What kind of question was that? Of course he would say no,” Labarda recalled.
She added that Aglugub’s bias was also apparent when she denied a motion filed by her parents in 2009 in which they asked the judge to allow Barrameda’s children to go to their mother’s wake.
“Who does that? My sister was dead already so why did she do that?” she asked.
Barrameda subsequently contested Aglugub’s decision granting custodial rights to her husband over their children. She filed a motion for reconsideration although two days before a scheduled hearing on March 16, 2007, she disappeared.
At that time, she was supposed to take the stand for cross-examination.
Some two years later, Barrameda’s body was found stuffed inside a steel drum dumped in the waters off Navotas.