February 23, 2024

3 more Degamo murder suspects retract statements

By Justine Rich Talusan

A LAWYER confirmed that three more suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and nine others recanted their previous statements given to investigators.

In an interview by ANC’s “Rundown,” lawyer Danny Villanueva said his clients Rogelio Antipolo, Rommel Pattaguan, and Dahniel Lora, who initially cooperated with authorities during the early stages of the case, have executed affidavits of recantation.

This brings the total number of suspects who have recanted to four.

Attorney Harold Montalbo, representing suspect Osmundo Rivero, on Monday revealed that his client had withdrawn his earlier statements.

“We attended a panel interview with the prosecutors at the Department of Justice on Monday, where we submitted Mr. Osmundo Rivero’s counter-affidavit. We also had him swear an affidavit of recantation, in which he recants his previous statements,” Montalbo said.

Montalbo further disclosed that Rivero had retracted three of his previous statements, all of which had already been submitted to the courts.

“He has practically disavowed almost everything he stated before because, as mentioned earlier, he submitted three statements to the court. Now, he is retracting all of them,” the lawyer said.

Rivero, along with suspects Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, and Benjie Rodriguez, voluntarily surrendered to authorities, while the remaining six accomplices were arrested.

During the early stages of the investigation, the suspects waived their right to file counter-affidavits before the panel of prosecutors handling the cases.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief Gen. Benjamin C. Acorda Jr.  said the PNP is firm to bring justice to Degamo and nine others who were killed by gunmen last March 4.

PNP Public Information Office chief Brig. Gen. Redrico A. Maranan said they have faith that the courts will uphold the principles of justice and provide a transparent and unbiased examination of the evidence presented.

The multiple murder case took a twist after four suspects recanted their previous statements given to investigators.