MANILA - The Court of Appeals (CA) has affirmed the conviction of actor Dennis Roldan, Mitchell Gumabao in real life, for the kidnapping of a Filipino-Chinese boy in 2005.
In a 17-page decision, the appellate court’s 14th Division affirmed the August 26, 2014 ruling of Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 167 that meted the guilty verdict on Roldan, Adrian Domingo, and Rowena San Andres for kidnapping the 3-year-old.
The actor and former Quezon City 3rd District lawmaker filed an appeal before the appellate court in a bid to reverse the ruling, arguing that witness testimonies against him did not warrant his conviction.
However, the CA said the RTC did not err in finding him and the others guilty beyond reasonable doubt.
“[T]his court agrees with the court a quo (RTC) that the prosecution was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused through testimonial and documentary evidence," the CA said in its ruling.
"Findings of fact of trial courts are entitled to great respect and are binding on the Supreme Court in the absence of showing bias, partiality, or grave abuse of discretion on the part of the presiding judge and the principle that in the absence of a palpable error or grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial judge, the trial court’s evaluation of the credibility of witnesses will not be disturbed on appeal,” the decision read.
It said Roldan "failed to raise any significant error as to the factual findings of the trial court.”
Roldan was arrested in his house in Filinvest II, Quezon City, on February 20, 2005 after agents of the now defunct Police Anti-Crime Emergency Response Group or PACER rescued the victim from a safehouse in Cubao.
Authorities say the victim was snatched while he and his nanny were on their way to school in Pasig City.
The kidnappers demanded a P250-million ransom during negotiations.
Roldan is serving time at the New Bilibid Prison. His alleged girlfriend, Suzette Wang, remains at large.