DOJ rejects suspect’s plea for subpoenas on witnesses, video in Enzo Pastor slay
MANILA, Philippines–The Department of Justice has rejected a request by the lawyer of Domingo “Sandy” de Guzman III, one of the suspects in the Enzo Pastor slay case, for the issuance of subpoenas to a witness and for the production of a video footage related to De Guzman’s arrest.
“The power to issue subpoena ad testificandum et duces tecum is lodged with the courts and the officer or body authorized by law to do so in connection with the investigations conducted by said officer or host,” DOJ prosecutor Susan Villanueva, who has been conducting the preliminary investigation on the case, said in a ruling dated October 2 and released on Wednesday.
Villanueva also said that Republic Act No. 10071, otherwise known as the Prosecution Service Act of 2010, did not provide the DOJ investigation prosecutor with the power to issue subpoena duces tecum ad testificandum.
De Guzman’s lawyer, Dennis Manalo, in a request dated Sept. 23, asked Villanueva to order the National Bureau of Investigation to provide on Oct. 8 copies of the sworn statements of Paolo Salazar, who was accompanying Pastor when they were waylaid by a motorcycle-riding gunman in Quezon City last June.
Manalo also sought copies of the footage of the closed-circuit television camera owned by Sto. Niño Village Homeowners’ Association that reportedly recorded his client’s arrest for alleged illegal possession of firearms last August 26 in Muntinlupa City.
The footage will be used to prove that the authorities were lying about the circumstances of De Guzman’s arrest, the lawyer added.
Villanueva set the preliminary investigation of De Guzman and Dalia for murder and frustrated murder charges at 2 p.m. on Thursday, with the two expected to submit their affidavits.
Manalo, however, has moved that the period of submission of De Guzman’s affidavit be suspended until the CCTV footage and Salazar’s affidavits are furnished his client.
Pastor was driving his truck that carried his racing car for a competition in Clark, Pampanga, when he and Salazar were ambushed by a motorcycle-riding gunman along Visayas Avenue in QC. Salazar claimed that during the trip, Pastor received calls from his wife Dalia who gave them directions.
The NBI, which conducted a parallel investigation of the case, interviewed Salazar and took statements from him.
A self-confessed gunman, Pasay City policeman Edgar Angel, initially claimed De Guzman and Dalia plotted Pastor’s murder and promised him P100,000 for the hit. Angel claimed De Guzman and Dalia were lovers and wanted to get rid of Pastor because he was a wife-beater.
De Guzman was arrested after Angel contacted him to get the rest of his fee. De Guzman was caught with a gun and was charged with illegal possession of a firearms. He later posted bail.
Angel later retracted his confession, saying he was forced to admit to being the gunman by the police. The prosecutor went ahead in charging him, leaving the the court to scrutinize his allegation.
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