House photographer testifies in De Lima disobedience case

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2018 12:30 AM

MANILA - The team leader of the House of Representatives' photo coverage team on Wednesday testified that he was instructed to take a photo of the cellphone of Ronnie Dayan's daughter during a House committee hearing in November 2016.

Perfecto Camero took a photo of the cellphone of Hannah Mae Dayan allegedly showing De Lima's message not to attend a House Committee on Justice hearing on the illegal drug trade in Bilibid in October 2016.

The message, which was in response to a query on what to do regarding the subpoena Dayan received, reads:

"Pakisabi sa kanya magtago lang muna sya...Kagagawan yan nila Speaker Alvarez at dikta ni Digong. Pagpipyestahan lang sya at kaming dalawa kapag mag-appear sya sa hearing na yan."

(Tell him to hide in the meantime. That is the doing of Speaker Alvarez and ordered by Digong. We will be just feasted upon if he attends the hearing.)

According to the prosecution, the message violates Art. 150 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience of summons.

However, on cross-examination, Camero admitted that he did not ask for Hannah Mae's permission to take the photo.

Defense lawyer Ted Rigoroso also sought to show there was a break in the chain of custody of the photo - from the time he took the photo using a digital camera until he had the photo printed at a shop in Quezon City.

Rigoroso's co-counsel Atty. Bonie Tacardon said the brief cross-examination showed there were violations on the rules on electronic evidence and data privacy.

"There was a point in time nilabas sa custody ng witness iyung mismong picture," he said. 

(There was a point in time that the photo was released in the custody of the witness.)

"Hindi sinubmit ang cellphone. Instead, photo of the cellphone of the alleged text message," he added.

(The cellphone was not submitted. Instead, a photo of the alleged text message on the cellphone was submitted).

Tacardon said the defense will look into the possibility of having Camero's testimony and the photo of the message excluded from the evidence.

The prosecution is set to present Ronnie Dayan as its next witness on August 2 but according to Tacardon, they will look into the possibility of entering into stipulations with the prosecution since it will only present Dayan's sworn affidavit before the House.