JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla is keen on investigating claims that the suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo were offered P8 million to retract their statements.
“We may consider a thorough examination of this matter. The occurrence of such events does not come as a surprise to us, which is why we had foreseen it approximately two and a half weeks ago.
Given the mysterious happenings and the anticipated recantations, we are not taken aback in any way,” Remulla stated in mixed Filipino and English.
Remulla has not ruled out the possibility that the alleged offer of ₱8 million per suspect was indeed accepted, considering the observed “patterns” in the situation.
“Given the current pattern we are witnessing with the purported recantations, it is a possibility. We cannot be certain,” Remulla said.
Previously, Remulla revealed that the suspects involved in the high-profile murder of Degamo had purportedly been offered ₱8 million each to retract their statements.
During an interview with CNN Philippines on Friday morning, Remulla disclosed this information, citing the most recent intelligence report.
At present, 10 suspects who had previously cooperated with the investigation, have submitted their affidavits of recantation.
When asked about potential charges that could be filed in connection with the alleged bribery of the suspects, Remulla mentioned “obstruction of justice.”
“Technically, it is obstruction of justice when you attempt to evade personal liability for an unlawful act through various means,” he explained.
Remulla also expressed disappointment that a former high-ranking official from the Justice Department was allegedly involved in the bribery scheme.
“It’s truly unfortunate and leaves a negative impression. We strive to serve the people in this capacity. I hold the undersecretaries and directors in high regard within my team. It’s truly regrettable that if these allegations are proven, there are individuals who would stoop so low,” he added.
Last Friday, lawyer Danny Villanueva, representing some of the respondents in the murder case Degamo, contradicted the statement made by Remulla regarding an alleged offer of P8 million to suspects who retracted their previous accusations linking suspended lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. to the March 4 carnage.
“I am completely clueless about this allegation. I have no information about this. Sa tingin ko po, napaka imposibleng mangayari ‘yan given that all of the accussed are currently in the detention center of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation),” Villanueva said.
“At limited lang ho ang pagkakataon, maging ‘yung espasyo na binibigay sa mga dentainee sa NBI at hindi mo pa alam kung naka record ang lahat ng pag uusap n’yo dahil nakapaligid ang mga tao ng NBI habang nagkakausap ang mganaka piit at mga abogado,” the lawyer added.