3 more Degamo slay case suspects retract testimonies, prosecution unfazed
MANILA, Philippines – Three more suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and nine others have retracted their testimonies.
Atty. Danny Villanueva said the suspects who recanted their previous statements are Dahniel Lora, Romel Pattaguan, and Rogelio Antipolo Jr.
“All these four have executed their respective affidavit of recantation,” Villanueva said over CNN Philippines.
Aside from the three, Villanueva also represents Jhudiel Rivero or Osmundo Rivero, who claimed in his counter-affidavit that he was tortured and coerced into admitting his supposed participation in the Degamo killing.
“Ang katotohanan po walang naging bahagi ang aming kliyente, wala pong kinalaman diyan sa sinasabi nilang kasama siya sa pagpatay ni Ginoong Degamo at sa marami pang iba,” Villanueva said.
[The truth is that our client had no involvement and has nothing to do with the alleged killing of Mr. Degamo and others.]
“Nais sabihin ng aming kliyente ang buong katotohanan para malaman ng buong sambayanang Pilipino sapagkat mabigat naman sa kanyang konsensiya na idadamay niya ang mga taong inosente, wala naman kinalaman diyan sa inaakusa sa kanya,” he added.
[Our client wants to tell the whole truth for the Filipino people to know because it weighs heavily on his conscience to implicate innocent people who have nothing to do with the accusations against him.]
Reacting to the issue of recantation, Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said recantations do not mean that the earlier statements are not true.
“Sa tingin namin wala naman syang epekto sa kaso, kasi naniniwala kami na ang ebidensyang hawak ng DOJ sa ngayon ay matibay kahit pa merong umatras,” Fadullon told reporters.
[We believe that it doesn’t have any impact on the case because we believe that the evidence currently held by the DOJ is strong, even if someone recants.].