Cebu radioman refuses to authenticate recording of interview with Trillanes
CEBU CITY — Broadcaster Leo Lastimosa appeared at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7) for the second time on Friday to reiterate his refusal to authenticate a recording of his interview with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV in 2017.
The audio recording was reportedly being requested by former Davao City vice mayor Paolo Duterte as part of his evidence for a libel case he was going to file against Trillanes over a statement linking the presidential son to the P6.4-billion “shabu” smuggling last year.
Lastimosa said technicians of radio dyAB, where he served as station manager and anchor, have long deleted their own recording.
As instructed by the National Telecommunications Communications, he said all radio stations could keep an audio recording of their programs only for 10 days.
If they receive a complaint, Lastimosa said they could set aside a copy of the recording of that particular program.
In the case of his interview with Trillanes over his Arangkada program on September 8, 2017, he said he never received any complaint within 10 days which could have been used as a basis to keep a copy of the recording.
“We received a complaint only 10 months after the interview, and it has been a while now since the audio recording of my interview with Senator Trillanes was deleted,” he said in Cebuano in his Arangkada program on Friday.
“There’s really nothing I can present to the CIDG. Now, they are asking me to authenticate a recording which I don’t even know where they got How sure I am that it was not spliced or edited? In all honesty, I can no longer recall what I and Senator Trillanes talked about in that interview,” he added.
The CIDG earlier asked Lastimosa, who is also the anchor of TV Patrol Central Visayas of ABS-CBN Cebu and a columnist of a local daily, to produce an audio recording of his radio interview with Trillanes.
He gave the same explanation as to why he could not give in to the request.
The CIDG apparently was not convinced of Lastimosa’s claim, prompting them to issue another subpoena.
In March 2018, President Duterte signed a new law giving the chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the CIDG the power to subpoena people and documents in criminal investigations.
Republic Act No. 10973 gives the PNP chief and the CIDG director and deputy director for administration the power to issue subpoenas compelling the attendance of persons of interest or the production of documents relevant to an investigation.
On Friday, Lastimosa, accompanied by the radio company’s lawyer Christian Llido, complied with the CIDG’s request for him to appear again before its office.
But, again, he insisted that he could not give what the organization demanded from him.
Lastimosa refused to affirm the authenticity of CIDG-7’s recording, saying it didn’t come from radio dyAB and he could not ascertain whether it was tampered or not.
Supt. Arturo Divino, CIDG-7 chief investigator, said he was instructed by his head office in Manila to let Lastimosa execute an affidavit to make formal his statements.
“I don’t have any background about this case. I was just asked by our superiors to talk to him (Lastimosa) and let him submit an affidavit,” he said.
Lastimosa submitted his affidavit past noon on Friday.
Last year, Trillanes accused Paolo Duterte of being a member of a drug triad, which could be proven by a colored, dragon-like tattoo on his back.
The presidential son admitted he has a tattoo but invoked his right to privacy when asked how it looked like.
A fact-finding panel of the Office of the Ombudsman has cleared Paolo and his brother-in-law, Mans Carpio, of involvement in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment that was smuggled into the country from China.
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