Inquiry on series of killings to push through says DOJ USec. Sugay
Aggrieved parties can approach the National Bureau of Investigation for help
MANILA – Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay said aggrieved parties may approach the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation should they need assistance.
Speaking at the virtual press conference hosted by Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque from Davao City, Undersecretary Sugay said it is common for eyewitnesses to have second thoughts in helping in the investigation and eventual prosecution of criminal incidents.
“They don’t necessarily surface and volunteer. We do some convincing to get the cases solved,” he said as he downplayed the perception that the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) is not as dependable as it ought to be.
He added cases they look into as specified in Administrative Order No. 35 are considered controversial because they are incidents of extrajudicial killings.
“These cases are controversial making eyewitnesses unwilling to participate,” he added.
Undersecretary Sugay said he heard a lawmaker interviewed in a radio station who said he prefers the National Bureau of Investigation to look into the Calbayog City incident. He mentioned the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) who usually work with them.
Asked if their inter-agency task force gets the expected support from other members of the committee, Undersecretary Sugay said they receive the important information when needed in the investigation.
As far as the killing of Calbayog City Mayor Ronald Aquino is concerned, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said they do condemn the killing as they do in other previous incidents.
“We are worried because this may be election related as the political season nears,” he said. He explained political violence has no place in a democracy.
Asked of the latest developments on the Commonwealth shootout between elements of the PDEA and Quezon City Police District, Undersecretary Sugay said they are still in the process of their inquiry.
“The NBI has been tasked to investigate the incident and they have gathered important details, subjected weapons to paraffin tests, and checked on the mobile phones of the persons involved. We expect to report more concrete findings within the next few days,” Undersecretary Sugay said. (Melo M. Acuña)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (left) and Justice Undersecretary Adrian Ferdinand S. Sugay. (Screen grab from RTVM/PTV4/PCOO Midday Press Briefing/Melo M. Acuna)