theresa torres pleads “not guilty” in ateneo student amiel alcantara death court case
theresa torres, the mother/driver suspect charged in the death of grade 4 student amiel alcantara at the ateneo grade school pleaded not guilty in court on criminal charges lodged by the alcantara family. amiel was killed at the ateneo grade school parking lot when the van driven by torres pinned the grade 4 boy to another car and crushed him to death. amiel’s nanny and sister were also hurt in the same car accident.
the QC Court Branch 106 judge also said that in accordance with court rules, the parties are mandated to elevate the case to mediation. it was the first time we heard of this process.
the idea of going through mediation according to documents we have read is to find a way to unclog the courts of cases. while it might achieve that in some way, we think more than anything, this is just an additional process to the judicial proceeding which to begin with already takes a long time. what this does is it adds one more process to an already very long process.
amiel alcantara was killed in february 24, 2009 and the arraignment of the case was done just a few days ago, after almost one year and a half in the courts. the case has just been started after 18 months. the mediation will add more months to it.
(read about mediation at the courts here: http://www.pmc.org.ph/about-the-philippine-mediation-center.htm)
the parties in court cases are forced to go through it. we think that should be changed where the parties may simply say whether they want to go through it or by-pass it all together to go straight to trial. the courts are clogged with cases not because of a lack of mediation, it is the slow process that judges allow to occur in its proceedings.
the mediation process helps the court in unclogging it but it does not help the parties involved in the case. all it does is it prolongs the court case further.
the mediation process only adds to an already prolonged process and adds misery and pain to the victims and families of the victims. this additional process does not really decongest the courts, all it does is give the cases one more detour. it postpones or delays the progress of the case, it does not remove them.
the mediation process for the amiel alcantara death case is scheduled for november.
Suspect in Ateneo student’s death pleads not guilty
MANILA, Philippines – A woman accused of running over a Grade 4 student at the Ateneo de Manila University on Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City last year pled not guilty to criminal charges before a local court Thursday.
Maria Theresa Torres, the woman who ran over and killed 10-year-old student Amiel Alcantara last year, was arraigned at the Quezon City Regional Trial Court branch 106.
She is facing charges of reckless imprudence resulting in homicide and serious physical injury.
Torres refused to be interviewed by the media. Her lawyer, Rolando Billones, said the whole thing was purely an accident, and there was no gross negligence on the part of his client.
The Alcantara family said they were disappointed with Torres’ plea and general demeanor during the arraignment.
Pepe Alcantara, the father of the victim, said there seemed to be no remorse or admission of guilt on the part of the accused.
He said Torres never approached them to ask for their forgiveness ever since the day of the accident.
Amiel was killed after being run over by a vehicle being driven by Torres at the Ateneo parking lot last February 2009.
He was with 2 siblings and a nanny whose legs were both shattered during the incident. — Report by Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News