Another Degamo slay suspect recants statement

PHOTOGRAPHS BY JOEY SANCHEZ MENDOZA FOR THE DAILY [email protected]_joey | Suspects in the celebrated murder are escorted to the hearing.

The case of the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has took another controversial turn as another suspect in the killing has recanted his statements, particularly the alleged involvement of suspended Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr.

Just like four other fellow dismissed soldiers who have taken back their testimonies, the suspect identified as Joven Javier denied knowledge of the 4 March, saying that he was merely forced to admit participation.

“We have also informed the court that his life is in danger as there is a plot to have him killed,” defense counsel Danny Villanueva said in an interview.

He said they will be filing a habeas corpus suit to question Javier’s continued detention.

“Mr. Javier was qualified to be a state witness against others who are being pointed to as responsible for the Pamplona massacre. That is the reason why up to this time no case has been filed against Mr. Javier,” Villanueva said in a television interview.

Javier was a sergeant with the Philippine Army’s counterterrorism unit Light Reaction Regiment and was regarded absent without leave in 2018. He was among the first suspects brought from Negros Oriental to Manila for their safety.

Fellow suspects Jhudiel Rivero, Romel Pattaguan, Dahniel Lora and Rogelio Antipolo Jr. have all recanted and gave similar narratives of coercion on the part of the government.

In his recantation confirmed on Monday by counsel Harold Montalbo, Rivero (a.k.a. Osmundo Rivero) claimed the police coerced him to admit his involvement and that he does not know Teves , the alleged mastermind.

Three counts of murder and frustrated murder cases have been filed before the Tanjay, Negros Oriental Regional Trial Court against Javier, Rivero, Joric Labrador, Benjie Rodriguez and 12 other John Does.

Meantime, the Department of Justice remains confident that they still have a strong case at hand even if suspects retracted one after the other as it added that the plan to transfer the suspects to the PNP Headquarters at Camp Crame will still push through.

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