THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has scheduled another hearing on July 17 to address the multiple murder complaints filed against suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. in connection with the high-profile murder of provincial governor Roel Degamo and several other civilians.
During the upcoming hearing, the suspects, particularly those in detention, are expected to file their counter-affidavits.
However, Atty. Andres Manuel, one of the counsels, stated that they are still considering whether to submit a counter-affidavit or another form of pleading.
This decision comes after they recently obtained the requested documents from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), as revealed by Manuel.
Furthermore, Manuel disclosed that five additional suspects involved in the killings have officially retracted their previous statements during the DOJ preliminary investigation conducted on Monday.
This recent development brings the total number of detained suspects who have recanted their statements to ten.
According to Manuel, one of the defense counsels, the suspects named Benjie Rodriguez, Eulogio Gonyon, John Louie Gonyon, Winrich Isturis, and Joric Labrador affirmed their recantations through the online platform Zoom.
They submitted their sworn affidavits during the panel hearing, which were unanimously affirmed by all five individuals, as conveyed by Manuel in a chance interview with reporters.
Last week, Romel Pattaguan, Dahniel Lora, Osmundo Rivero, Joven Javier, and Rogelio Antipolo also confirmed their recantations.
Manuel expressed satisfaction with this development, as it provides a basis for challenging the multiple murder charges filed against Teves.
Teves has consistently denied any involvement in the assassination of Degamo and has expressed his intention to return to the Philippines once his concerns regarding personal safety have been adequately addressed.