5th witness in Degamo slay recants, claims he was forced to implicate Teves
MANILA, Philippines–The fifth witness who withdrew his testimony claims he was forced by the police to implicate suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves and his former aide, Marvin Miranda.
Miranda has been identified by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla as the one who recruited the group that allegedly attacked Gov. Roel Degamo on March 4, 2023 that killed the public official and nine others.
Teves, on the other hand, was the brains behind the attack, according to Remulla.
Remulla: Arnie Teves is ‘executive producer’ if Degamo’s murder is a movie
The latest to withdraw his testimony was Joven Javier, who also filed a habeas corpus petition for his release from detention.
In his Affidavit of Recantation, he said he was taken by members of the 303rd Brigade 11th IB of the Philippine Army and the police on March 4.
“Nangyari ang paghuli sa akin samantalang wala akong ginagawang masama o krimen.. Dahil wala akong masabi na pangalan o maituro na kinaroroonan ng mga baril, ako ay binugbog, sinuntok, tinatadyakan, inapakan ang aking mukha habang ako ay nakadapa sa lupa at naka posas sa likuran ang aking dalawang kamay. Walang nag-assist sa ‘kin na abogado. Hindi rin nila ako binasahan ng Miranda Rights,” Javier said.
[I was apprehended even though I didn’t do anything wrong or commit a crime. Since I couldn’t mention any names or point out the location of the guns, I was beaten, punched, kicked, and had my face stepped on while lying face down on the ground with my hands handcuffed behind my back. No lawyer assisted me. They didn’t read me my Miranda Rights.]
Authorities only read him his Miranda Rights a day after his arrest, he said.
“Noong Marso 5, 2023, doon pa lang ako binasahan ng Miranda rights, habang kinukunan ako ng salaysay at pilit na kinukuha ang aking confession, at pilit nilang ipinatuturo sa akin si Marvin at Cong. Teves,” he said.
[On March 5, 2023, that was the only time I was read my Miranda rights, while being interrogated and coerced into giving a statement, and they forcefully tried to make me implicate Marvin and Congressman Teves.]
Javier said, “dahil sa pagbabanta sa aking buhay at sa buhay ng aking pamilya, napilitan akong lagdaan ang confession.”
(Because of the threat to my life and the lives of my family, I was forced to sign the confession.)
In his habeas corpus petition, Javier said he is “unlawfully detained and deprived of his liberty by the order and at the behest of the respondents.”
Named respondents in the petition were Department of Justice (DOJ), Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla and National Bureau of Investigation Director Medardo de Lemos.
Javier also told the court that “in spite of the fact that petitioner has been confined for more than two months, to his personal knowledge, no formal complaint or accusation for any specific offense has been filed against him, nor any judicial writ or order for his confinement has at any time been issued so far.”
Other suspects who recanted their testimonies were Jhudiel Rivero, Dahniel Lora, Romel Pattaguan and Rogelio Antipolo Jr.
Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said DOJ had not received a copy of these documents.
“All these are reports as we have not received a copy of the recantation of Javier. It seems the lawyer is more keen on going to the media, instead of just going through the motion of filing the supposed pleadings directly with the offices concerned,” he told reporters.
Fadullon said if the suspects wish to file a habeas corpus case, “let them do so, but Javier is being detained by reason of the charges in court.”
3 more Degamo slay case suspects retract testimonies, prosecution unfazed
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