Roxas now finds jail execs’ story on Aranas incredible



Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas on Wednesday ordered another investigation of the death of a witness in the murder of broadcaster and environmentalist Gerry Ortega in a jail in Quezon, saying now that he found unbelievable jail officials’ story that Dennis Aranas killed himself.

In a press conference, Roxas said he ordered the new investigation after receiving a report that ran counter to a report submitted by the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) that concluded that Aranas, a witness and participant in the murder of Ortega in Puerto Princesa City, committed suicide by hanging.

In the same press conference, Director General Alan Purisima, Philippine National Police chief, countered a statement made by a top jail official, BJMP Calabarzon chief Serafin Barretto, that there was no need to report suicides in jail to police.

The BJMP on Wednesday offered a P100,000 reward for information that would lead to the truth about Aranas’ death.

Barretto said the reward would hopefully encourage inmates who saw how Aranas died to come out and speak up.

He, however, said the BJMP continues to believe a report by the National Bureau of Investigation that ruled Aranas’ death to be a suicide. It was the same report cited by Roxas earlier.

But the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO), which conducted a separate autopsy on Sunday, found bruises on Aranas’ body that led it to conclude that he was beaten up and strangled to death. The Ortega family has asked Roxas to investigate further based on PAO’s findings.

If there was a foul play, said BJMP official Barretto, “we hope the inmates would come forward with their information. At least, someone could whisper it.”

Aranas has been detained at the Quezon provincial jail since June 29 last year after his enrollment in the witness protection program was delayed by a murder and frustrated murder case filed against him in another town in Quezon. Aranas’ common law wife said the new case surprised her as Aranas had never been to the Quezon town.

Barretto said jail officials granted Aranas’ request to be in isolation because “we thought he would be much safer.”

Asked why Aranas requested to be in isolation, Barretto said Aranas claimed there were “threats” to his life, but he did not elaborate.

Marlon Recamata, the confessed gunman in the Ortega murder, expressed fears for his security should the court send him to the same jail where Aranas died.

Recamata, who is currently detained in a jail in Puerto Princesa City, is facing a separate case of “resisting authority” at the regional trial court in Pagbilao, Quezon, the hearing for which is set on March 11.

“We can assure the public that our jails are safe but I hope you also understand the situation in our facilities,” Barretto said.

He said it would be impossible to guard the inmates 24 hours a day because of lack of jail guards.

In the Quezon provincial jail alone, 27 guards are assigned to 1,000 inmates. With a report by Marlon Ramos

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  • indiosbravos2002

    Our jails are safe….. HAHAHAHAHAHA. Idiot. The gangs run the day to day operations of our jails. Baka takot pa jailguard sa mga nakakulong. Only in the Philippines

  • Jim De Garman

    mr barretto you better file your retirement earlier than to push you to resign your game plan doesn’t work with the new findings of PAO, uncle ka ni Claudine.


    Can somebody from the Office of the SILG send good photos of Sec. Mar to the INQ for their file?

    This filephoto from the INQ appeared already several times, and this photo does not look very “nice.”

    • magiting78

      Hehehehe kahit naman picture nya mukha nmn talaga sya di look nice…wala n sya chance sa 2016

    • Fulpol

      hawig na rin siya ni Evardone at Fulpol…

    • D_BystandeR

      I think there are competent people working under Sec. Mar Roxas who can provide PDI with a “presentable” picture of the good Secretary. There are critical angles to be observed in the selection process of pictures to make sure the Secretary’s picture profile is compatible with the important position he occupies. 

      • billijo

        Then again,maybe something is really funny.

  • George Lapulapu

    Napaka losy nitong si Purisima… pulis patola..mga pronouncement nyo PNP Chief ay halatang sanay sa cover -up….

  • Loggnat

    Total incompetence by the Barretto, he cannot even lie competently and believably. This individual claims that his jail is safe but proves himself wrong and lying by adding that they cannot guard the prisoners 24 hours a day. The jail is supposedly guarded 24/, meaning all the time and each one of those prisoners should be accounted for all the time too. A potential witness to a high profile crime should have been isolated,  separated from main prison population and under observation 24/7.  A death of a potential witness regardless of being a murder or suicide will result in two conclusions, a) that the demise is criminally facilitated by the prison management or officials  , or b) by criminal incompetence of failing to do their job as required by law causing the inmates death. As for his assumption that a death by an inmate by suicide does not have to be reported to the police just shows his total lack of common sense if not lack of knowledge of the rules and regulation of the prison system and of the law. If it does not need to be reported, who will determine if the death is suicide or otherwise without doubt? Only an authorized, licensed, and competent ‘medico legal’ / coroner determines legally and without doubt the cause of death. The prison management or officials cannot legally call the death of the inmate as a suicide.

    • D_BystandeR

      Ang mabuti sa Barretong ‘yan ay “firing squad.” Ang mga statement niya ay puro walang logic. And to think that the death of Aranas is a big loss to the successful prosecution of the case is a big question that this man should be made answerable! 

  • Ernesto

    high profile case ,ang witness pinapatay

  • coty

    ha ha this must be a variation of the usual “nang agaw ng baril”?! 

  • Balahura

    We can assure the public that our jails are safe….puwet mo

  • regie

    obvious na obvious. grabe ang logic naman ng gumawa ng script na ito….nag request na i-isolate kasi he is fearing for his life tapos nag suicide. lokohin niyo lelang niyong panot….inisolate yan para wlang makakita habang sinasakal siya. dapat tlaga maaresto na yang mga mastermind sa pagpatay kay ortega para di nila magamit ang yaman nila sa pagsupil sa katotohanan…

  • ApoLapullapu

    Just like in the movies about the MAFIA.

  • kismaytami

    Ang masaklap, hanggang imbestigasyon na lang. Habang noynoying ang administrasyon sa pagdakip sa mastermind ng krimen.

  • kilabot

    not presidentiable. this marina.

  • yonoh

    katas pa rin ng malampaya ang ginamit dito para patahimikin si aranas ang tanong magkano ang natanggap ni bjmp……………dapat sibakin sa pwesto yan…………………..

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