Roque seeks worse penalty vs recanters amid De Lima witnesses flip-flops
MANILA, Philippines – Former presidential spokesperson Atty. Harry Roque on Wednesday said that witnesses who recant their testimonies deserve worse punishment.
Roque’s statement was made in reaction to seven more Bilibid inmates’ recantation of their testimonies against Former senator Leila De Lima.
Talking at Kapihan sa Manila Bay, the former spokesperson went on a fiery tirade, stressing that recanters must be punished for lying in front of the court.
“Lahat iyang nag-recant, dapat parusahan. Dapat talagang taasan (ang parusa). Dito kasi parang tapik lang,” the former presidential spokesperson said.
(Everyone who recanted should be punished. The punishment should really be increased. Here, it seems like just a mere slap on the wrist.)
“Panawagan ko sa mga mambabatas, kailangan pataasin ang parusa ng mga nagsinungaling sa hukuman,” Roque pleaded.
(My call to lawmakers is to increase the punishment for those who lie in court.)
“Mantakin mo ilang tao na ang nagsinungaling diyan. Recantation means nagsinungaling sila,” the lawyer said.
(Imagine how many people have lied there. Recantation means they lied.)
Roque added that according to the Supreme Court, recanters are not to be believed since they have a precedent of being paid or coerced.
However, Roque clarified that he is a “stranger in the case” of former senator de Lima and was only speaking as a lawyer.
On Friday, seven Bilibid inmates wrote a handwritten letter to Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Judge Gener Gito, saying they were simply compelled to participate as witnesses in the drug cases against former justice secretary de Lima.