SC asked to release teenager witness from NBI custodyBy Tetch Torres-Tupas
MANILA, Philippines—The father of the minor who is a witness of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in the death of Infanta Mayor Ruperto Martinez asked the Supreme Court to order the release of his son to his custody.
In his writ of amparo petition, a newspaperman in Pangasinan said the parents should take care of the minor’s concerns and discipline.
The petitioner also asked the high court to stop using his son as a witness by the NBI.
The 16-year old son, in his testimony, said he was present at a meeting in El Pescador Beach Resort Bolinao, Pangasinan where he overheard the discussion about allegedly killing Martinez because of his knowledge about the “itim na bato” (black rock).
The “itim na bato” reportedly refers to nickel found in the area.
The teenager’s testimony prompted the NBI to file murder case against incumbent Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino Jr. and Infanta, Pangasinan 1st District Rep. Jesus Celeste.
Martinez was killed in front of his house last Dec. 15 in Cato village in Infanta. The alleged killers Ricardo “Kardo” Legarda and Richard Manuel are currently detained at the Pangasinan Provincial Jail in Lingayen.
The teenager has been accepted in the government’s witness protection program. He executed his affidavit in the presence of representatives of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). The witness said he left his home because he suffers from physical abuse from his father.
He said he also has knowledge about the death of Councilor Jovencia Gasmin of Barangay (village) San Juan, Alcala Pangasinan and Councilor Nato Sabangan of Bayambang, Pangasinan.
The petitioner said with his son’s testimony, he has put his family in danger because candidates might think he is sabotaging their candidacy.
“And because the alleged testimonies of the minor son are false with more reason that the petitioners are fearing for their lives too,” the petition stated.
The petitioner denied being part of a meeting where the killing Martinez was discussed. More so he pointed that no father could risk the life of their children by bringing them into such a meeting.
He said his son has left home in 2012, and committed theft against his siblings in Baguio City where he was arrested and committed at the Department of Social Welfare in Baguio.
Petitioner believed that his son is being abused by the NBI.
“The longer the minor son is being held by the NBI, the more damage will be caused on the intrinsic worth and dignity of their son,” the petitioner said.