Recantations show cover-up conspiracy among Degamo murder suspects – Remulla

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 1) — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla believes the suspects in the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo are conspiring to cover up their crime after several of them recanted their statements.

"Sa bawat affidavit, iba-iba ang sinasabi nila, nagtutugma lang sa maraming punto. Ngayon, parepareho na sinasabi nila. There's a conspiracy to cover up this crime, this terrorism that happened in our country which we cannot stand for," Remulla told the media on Thursday.

[Translation: In each affidavit, they said something different, only matching on some points. Now, they are saying the same thing.]

Several suspects have separately recanted their statements on Degamo's assassination. They're now claiming to have no knowledge about the murder.

According to Remulla, all of the suspects have expressed plans to retract their testimonies simultaneously.

"Sabay sabay sila magrerecant, sabi nila. Eh 'di may conspiracy sila na itago yung katotohanan [They will recant at the same time, they said. Then they have a conspiracy to hide the truth]," the secretary said.

"It shows a conspiracy among the 10 of them, that they are really part of a conspiracy when all of them suddenly recant. It just proves our case further that the conspiracy is there," he stressed.

Remulla earlier said it is possible the camp of Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnulfo Teves Jr. was behind the recantations. Teves has been tagged as among the masterminds of Degamo’s murder, an allegation the lawmaker denies.

The secretary also claimed co-mastermind Marvin Miranda, who was previously revealed to be Teves’ long-time bodyguard, "directed" the recantations of other suspects.

Nevertheless, Remulla emphasized that recantations are "unreliable" and are "frowned upon by the courts."

"They speak lowly of the kind of evidence being presented by the defense lawyers, so do not make a big deal of recantations. If there are recantations, there's perjury," he added.

READ: Teves has no plans to return home despite suspects’ recantations