DOJ: More than enough evidence to pin down Degamo slay suspects

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) said it remains confident about securing a conviction over the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine other people, even after more suspects recanted their testimonies.

Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Fadullon assured the public on Tuesday that "there is more than enough evidence to pin down the accused."

Lawyer Danny Villanueva said all of his four clients have already signed an affidavit of recantation, but the DOJ downplayed this.

"Sa tingin naman namin walang epekto sa kaso. Kasi naniniwala kami ang ebidensyang hawak ng department ay matibay. Kahit pa may umatras at may magbago ng kanilang salaysay hindi ibig sabihin nito na totally masisira yung kaso," Fadullon said.

[Translation: We feel this will have no effect on the case. We believe the evidence with the department is strong. Even if someone withdraws and their statement changes, this doesn't mean this will negatively impact the case.]

Fadullon pointed out this only puts into question the credibility of the suspects.

"Hindi kasi pwedeng pabago-bago yung sasabihin mo na sabihin mo sa unang kwento mo ganito-ganito nangyari, pagkatapos babawiin mo sa oras na magkaroon ng abogado," he explained.

[Translation: You can't keep on changing your statement — you say one thing then take it back when you get a lawyer.]

Asked how the recantations will affect the murder complaints against Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves, Fadullon said he is leaving it up to the panel of prosecutors to evaluate the suspects' statements.