Degamo slay suspect claims his family members are being illegally detained
MANILA, Philippines – One of the suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has accused law enforcers of allegedly taking his family members against their will.
At the same time, the suspect said he had experienced coercion as he was being forced to sign an affidavit that had been previously prepared.
These statements were contained in the letter sent to the Commission on Human Rights by the lawyers of suspect Osmundo Rojas Rivero.
Rivero, through counsel Attorney Danny Villanueva, alleged that his wife and two children had been taken into custody by the military, and then, supposedly turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Villanueva said his client would file a petition for habeas corpus.
This was because the suspect could not determine the whereabouts of his family.
“We were being denied access. We were given a run-around by the NBI,” said Villanueva.
A writ of habeas corpus is a remedy applicable to cases of illegal confinement or detention where a person is deprived of his or her liberty or where the rightful custody of any person is withheld from the person who is entitled to it.
In response, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said it was Rivero who had requested government to secure his family.
Remulla said these remarks from Rivero’s camp were meant to throw off the authorities.
“We are following the law. We are following due process every step of the way, I can assure you of that,” he maintained.
He also said he is ready for any case that may be filed against law enforcers at the CHR.
“If they want to write, then write. If they want to file a case, then, file it. We are not hiding anything here. Everything that we did have a video and the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) is involved in every step of the proceedings,” Remulla said.