Part 2: Actual transcript

 Posted By: je froilan m. clerigo
02-Jun-2008

(... continued)

ATTY. OPENA TO WITNESS:

Q:    When you said end of sofa which portion, the left side or the right side?
A:    The right.
 
Apparently, the positions of the witness and the victim, the locations of the sofa and the window are important. So, why not have a diagram (or floorplan) of the living room of the house, blow it up and, in the ensuing questions, ask the witness to use the diagram in pointing out these positions? Since from the earlier testimony, the familiarity of the witness to the physical layout of the house is already established, we just need to ask the following questions: Q: Will a diagram help you in making your testimony clearer? A: Yes. Q: I am showing to you this document. Do you recognize it? A: Yes. It is the diagram of the sala of our house. Q: Does it accurately and faithfully depict the layout of the sala on such and such date? A: Yes.
 
Q:     Now, while you and your son were watching television, was there anything unusual that transpired?
A:     Yes, sir.
Q:     Tell us what was that all about.
A:     Mayroon po akong napansin na kamay na nakatutok sa anak ko. Nakita ko po si Noel Lee na nakatayo sa may bintana.

 

Here, the accused’s name was already mentioned. It would have been really advantageous for the prosecution to have used the name of Noel Lee as often as possible in the succeeding questions. For instance: “Q: You mentioned Noel Lee. Is that Noel Lee present in the courtroom today? A: Yes. Q: Can you point him out to us? A: (Witness pointing) That’s him. Q: Your Honor, may the record reflect that the witness pointed to the accused as the Noel Lee she was referring to earlier.” Then, since Noel Lee and the accused are but one and the same person, he may be referred to as either in the succeeding questions. For instance: “Q: You earlier said that a hand was holding a gun. Whose hand was it? A: Noel Lee’s hand. Q: Where was Noel Lee’s gun pointed? A: It was pointed at my son. Q: What happened next? A: He fired the gun. Q: When you said he, it was Noel Lee you are referring to as the one who fired the gun? A: Yes.” We would want Noel Lee’s name repeated as often as reasonable.

 
Q:     What do you mean by the word “kamay?”
A:     Hawak hawak po niya iyong baril, nakatutok po sa anak ko.
Q:     What did you do with what you saw?
A:     Nakita ko pong gumanoon siya, sumilip na ganoon, sabay putok ng baril. Tumingin po siya sa may bintana, ganoon po, sabay putok ng baril.
COURT:
You said he turned the head. Who turned the head? Sino ang gumanyan sa sinabi mo?
A:     (Witness demonstrating that the victim peeped through the window).
Q:     And then?
A:     At the same time the firing of the gun [sic] and I saw my son slumped. 
 
The diagram we mentioned earlier may here be used to emphasize the scene more. Note that this was when and where the action happened; you’d want the judge to be there at the scene with the witness, to see and feel what happened. For instance: “Q: Referring you to the diagram. I am handing to you a pen. Please mark with the letters `NL’ that part where Noel Lee poked and pointed his gun at your son. A: Here, from this window (witness marking the diagram) Q: (Manifesting) The witness has marked with the letters NL that part of the diagram near the word `Window.’ And please mark with the letters `JM’ that part where your son Joseph Marquez was seated at the time. A. Here (witness marking the diagram), etc.”
 

The point is to exploit and emphasize the witness’ explosive narration by calling for details that not only make the scene more vivid, but rewind and make the judge re-view the scene repeatedly, making it more memorable.

- To be contunued -