Teves camp possibly behind suspects' recantation – DOJ spokesman

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 25) — Department of Justice spokesperson Mico Clavano said it’s very possible that the camp of Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves is behind the recantation of suspects in the assassination of Governor Roel Degamo.

Clavano insisted the cases against the suspects are solid despite taking back their statements.

“Siguro ang basa ko dito, play lamang ito ng kabila para sirain yung kaso. Pero sa amin naman, dahil in-anticipate namin ito, ay sa tingin ko naman solid pa rin yung kaso,” Clavano explained.

[Translation: I believe this is just a play by the other side to destroy the case. But for us, because we anticipated this, I think the case remains solid.]

He said that even if there is a recantation, there is other supporting evidence that would strengthen the earlier testimonies.

On claims that the suspects were tortured, Clavano said that based on their intelligence and ground information, no such thing happened.

RELATED: PNP on Degamo slay suspect’s torture claim: ‘No evidence leading to that accusation’

He noted that they’re careful in handling suspects.

“So why would the DOJ or the PNP subject them to any sort of maltreatment? Kailangan ho maging cooperative sila, kailangan maganda yung kalagayan nila para maging free wiling or voluntary po yung mga sinasabi nila,” he said.

[Translation: So why would the DOJ or the PNP subject them to any sort of maltreatment? They have to be cooperative, they have to be in a good state to be free or say things voluntarily.]

Clavano also disclosed the 11 suspects will be transferred to another detention facility because the National Bureau of Investigation custodial center will be demolished.