3 more Degamo slay suspects recant, lawyer says

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — More suspects tagged in the murder of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo have taken back their statements, their lawyer confirmed on Tuesday.

Speaking to CNN Philippines’ The Source, lawyer Danny Villanueva said his clients “have recanted their statements.”

The counsel said he represents Osmundo “Jhudiel” Rivero, Dahniel Lora, Romel Pattaguan, and Rogelio Antipolo Jr.

"All these four have executed their respective affidavit of recantation," Villanueva said.

Rivero recanted his statements on Monday.

READ: Suspect in Degamo slay recants statements on killing – lawyer

In his counter-affidavit, Rivero claimed he was kicked and hit while at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Headquarters in Camp Crame. He said he was made to say that Negros Oriental Representative Arnie Teves gave the order to kill Degamo, adding that his family was also threatened.

Villanueva said the recantation documents were not yet considered submitted since only Rivero was scheduled for preliminary investigation on Monday after the Department of Justice granted their camp’s motion to reopen the preliminary investigation with respect to Rivero.

“We were supposed to submit his counter-affidavit, as well as his affidavit of recantation at naka-attach po doon 'yung recantation din ng tatlo pa [the recantation of the other three were also attached there]…However, the panel of state prosecutors required us to submit the sworn statements executed by the PNP of Negros Oriental, as well as those allegedly executed by our clients before the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) but as of the moment, we don’t have a copy of the sworn statement of Mr. Rivero,” he explained.

Villanueva said they questioned the procedure since it is the prosecutors’ responsibility to provide the documents. The affidavit of recantation will only be accepted by prosecutors once the missing documents are submitted as well, he noted.