Remulla: Suspects in Degamo slay were offered P8 million each to recant statements
MANILA, Philippines — The suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Dagamo and nine others received P8-million offers each to recant their statements, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Friday, citing an intelligence report.
Remulla said the offer started when the alleged co-mastermind Marvin Miranda was able to talk to a lawyer he previously denied knowing.
“Nung nahuli si Marvin Miranda March 31, mga 6 days after that, nagsimula na yung kaluskos. Nung finally nakausap niya ‘yung lawyer na ayaw niyang papasukin noong una, ayaw niyang kausapin, nung finally kinuha niya ‘yung abogado na pumunta roon, nagsimula na yung mga offer,” Remulla said.
(When Marvin Miranda was captured on March 31, after about six days, the commotion began. When he finally spoke to the lawyer he initially refused to entertain, the money offer to the other accused began.)
Miranda and the other suspects have been detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Remulla said that was when the opportunity to talk to the accused came.
“Inofferan sila ng malalaking amount ng pera, according to intel report, P8 million each,” Remulla said.
(According to an intelligence report, they were offering P8 million for each of the suspects.)
Remulla identified a former undersecretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) who visited the NBI and introduced himself as Miranda’s lawyer, whom Miranda initially denied knowing but eventually accepted as his counsel.
“You are talking about Usec. [Reynante] Orceo? I’ve mentioned him because he walked into the NBI claiming to be the lawyer of Marvin Miranda, and Marvin Miranda denied knowing him in the beginning; that’s why we mentioned his name, former undersecretary ‘yan of DOJ,” Remulla said.
To date, all ten suspects detained at the NBI have recanted their earlier statements tagging Miranda and Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. as the masterminds in the killing of Degamo and the others.
Citing several reasons, Orceo said, “I have nothing really to rebut or refute from the statements of Sec. Remulla.”
First, he said: “The imputation that I offered Php8M to the accused in Degamo murder cases to recant their affidavit is based on the secretary’s ‘information he received.’ This is purely hearsay. As lawyers, which Sec. Remulla is supposedly aware of, such a statement is devoid of evidentiary weight or probative value. In fact, Sections 13 and 38 of the new Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility and Accountability prohibits the imputation of misconduct and the non-posting of false or unverified statements.”
Second, he said: “We only represent Miranda; all the other accused are represented by different counsels. The recantations of all the other accused should be attributed to their respective counsels, not to us.”