Degamo camp confident of own witnesses vs. Teves even if majority of suspects recant

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 18) — The lawyer of the Degamo family on Thursday said he is confident justice will prevail even if all 11 suspects related to the murder of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo take back their statements.

“I’m telling you with confidence na kahit mag-recant yung 11 na yan, we have two other very credible witnesses na ipe-present namin during the trial,” lawyer Levy Baligod told CNN Philippines’ The Source.

[Translation: I’m telling you with confidence even if those 11 recant, we have two other very credible witnesses we will present during the trial.]

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday filed murder complaints against Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves, the alleged mastermind behind the death of Degamo. 

Department of Justice Sec. Jesus Crispin Remulla said the NBI filed murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder complaints.

Baligod said the National Prosecution Service is already conducting preliminary evaluation to possibly subpoena Teves if authorities find prima facie evidence.

While there is no direct proof linking Teves to the murder, Baligod explained a number of circumstantial evidence could prove his involvement in the crime.

These include the alleged use of Teves’ helicopter to transport the suspects to safer grounds, co-mastermind Marvin Miranda still working for the congressman, and the use of facilities within the sugar mill partly owned by the lawmaker’s brother Henry Teves, Baligod noted.

The suspended congressman maintains he is innocent.

But he refuses to return to the country after flying to the United States late-February for medical purposes, citing security concerns.

Teves, who was suspended on March 22, might also face stiffer sanctions over his continued absence in Congress.

The House Committee on Ethics will convene on May 23, a day after Teves’ suspension ends, to determine the next action to take regarding his case.