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PAO not lobbying cases: meetup with Duterte choice of victims’ kin, says chief

/ 09:38 PM September 07, 2017

Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta. EDWIN BACASMAS

“Lobbying? I am not lobbying.”

Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Acosta has denied lobbying the case of  victims of recent killings to President Duterte.

“Hindi. Ako mag-lobby? Kung ano ang totoo lang. Kung walang sala, palayain. Kung may sala, tamang parusa. Dapat maituwid ang may pagkakamali at managot ang dapat managot. Hindi takpan ang sinuman dahil ang gobyerno hindi namin kinokonsente ang pagmamalabis lalo ito may patay dito,” Acosta said when asked by a reporter if the PAO is lobbying the cases of the victims it handles to President Duterte.

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“Lulutong ang gulugod ko sa impyerno kung meron pakikipagsabwatan kanino man,” she added.

Acosta accompanied the parents of de Guzman as they brought the remains of De Guzman from Gapan, Nueva Ecija to a mortuary near the San Andres barangay hall  in Cainta.

The PAO chief even stoop down as she assisted in the transfer and physical placement of de Guzman’s coffin on Thursday afternoon.

In an interview with reporters during the first day of the wake for 14-year-old Reynaldo “Kulot” De Guzman in Cainta, Rizal, Acosta said De Guzman’s family has not yet requested to meet with Duterte.

“If they have a request to ask help from the president, eh depende yun… We are not getting appointments. If they want to reach out to the President (they are free), but us, from PAO, our priority is the investigation of the case,” Acosta said.

Acosta also told reporters she is seeing similarities in the killing of Carl Arnaiz, 19, and Kian delos Santos since both of the parents are overseas Filipino workers. Both were shot dead by Caloocan policemen.

“Iyong comparative lang, si Kian at Carl pareho OFW nanay, pareho may tindahan. Yung iba hindi wala kaming pakialam kasi hindi naman namin sila kliyente, she added.

Both the relatives of delos Santos and Arnaiz are already under the Department of Justice’s witness protection program.

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At press time, PAO is coordinating with the National Bureau of Investigation for the forensic and post mortem analysis of the wounds, she added.

Acosta said the burial is planned Tuesday next week.

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TAGS: Crime, extrajudicial killings, Persida Acosta, Philippine news updates, Public Attorney’s Office, war on drugs
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