Witness claims Ampatuan lawyer offered him P2M
A government witness on Thursday told a regional trial court in Quezon City hearing the Maguindanao massacre case that defense lawyer Sigfrid Fortun had offered him a P2-million bribe.
Army 1st Lt. Rolly Stefen Gempesao told Judge Jocelyn Reyes that Fortun called him up in July 2010 and offered him P2 million after the defense lawyer supposedly asked for copies of the reports and a video that the military took of the massacre site.
“I know your need is great. Maybe P2 million is enough,” Gempesao quoted the man who introduced himself as Fortun as saying.
“If you think those like me can be bought, well I’m not like that,” the officer supposedly replied.
Gempesao, the former intelligence officer of the 64th Infantry Battalion, was one of the first soldiers to arrive at the massacre site in Masalay sub-village, Salman village in Ampatuan town.
He submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) an incident report, two progress reports, a certificate of release of two militiamen and a sketch of the massacre site. Fortun was allegedly after this and more.
When asked for comment, Fortun dismissed the allegation, adding that he did not need to offer any bribe because the defense was legally entitled to the documents Gempesao had submitted to the NBI.
“I don’t even know his cell number. It’s so easy for someone to call and say, ‘This is Attorney Fortun…,”’ the lawyer said.
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