NIDA'S LONG-TIME FRIEND PASSES POLYGRGAPH TEST
Manila, December 19, 2001 - (STAR) - By Mike Frialde - Candelaria Tantoco, a long time close friend of murdered actress Nida Blanca took a 30-minute polygraph test at the National Bureau of Investigation yesterday and passed it.
"I took the polygraph test and the results were negative for deception," she told reporters after emerging from the polygraph test.
According to NBI insiders, Tantoco arrived at the NBI compound at about as 5:30 a.m. She was then given a briefing regarding the test which she took at 8 a.m. at the NBI Polygraphy Division.
NBI insiders said Tantoco was asked if she was with Blanca on the night of Nov. 6, and if she knew who killed Blanca. Tantoco answered "no" to both questions, insiders said.
Tantoco also denied reports that she was with Blanca at the Casino Filipino on Nov. 6, the eve of the murder.
NBI spokesman Ric Diaz earlier said that the bureau intends to question a "tomboyish looking" woman whom witnesses said, was with Blanca at the Casino Filipino in Parañaque on Nov. 6 between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m.
But even as Tantoco denied being with Blanca in the hours before her death, Diaz said she closely resembles the cartographic sketch of the mysterious woman, whom according to witnesses, was with Blanca at the Casino. "There is a 95 percent resemblance between her (Tantoco) and the woman," said Diaz.
Diaz stressed that though Tantoco passed the lie detector test, she will still be investigated as a witness in the case. Diaz added that there were also inconsistencies in her statements.
"Her lie detector test shows negative of deceptions. Let me clarify that she is not a suspect but a material witness," Diaz said.
NBI investigators were earlier puzzled by Tantoco’s alleged reluctance to cooperate with the investigation.
Meanwhile, Blanca’s husband Rod Lauren Strunk will no longer submit himself today to a lie detector test before the NBI. Strunk was earlier asked by the NBI to take a lie detector test after investigators noted several inconsistencies in his 12-page sworn statement.
"Upon advice of counsel, he will no longer do so. The result of the test is not evidence. Should Mr. Strunk pass the test, does this mean the NBI will "clear" him? From all indications, it will not. On the other hand, should Mr. Strunk fail the test, can the NBI charge him? Moreover, the result of the test is inconclusive and unreliable," Strunk’s lawyers from the Siguion Reina Law Office said in a statement.
Strunk’s lawyers also lashed at the NBI for releasing information to the effect that an umbrella that allegedly came from his van, bore traces of Nida’s blood and was allegedly used to stab the late actress three times in the armpit.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
2001 by PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS
All rights reserved
PHILIPPINE HEADLINE NEWS ONLINE