MANILA - Media interviews where a construction worker admitted to murdering a family of five in Bulacan will be admissible in court even after he backtracked on his earlier statements, the Public Attorney's Office said Thursday.
"Lahat ng sinasabi niya noon ay consistent sa crime scene e. Hindi po maaaring masira iyung probity ng interview ng media sa kanya," PAO chief Persida Rueda-Acosta told radio DZMM.
Carmelino Ibañez, 26, admitted to ABS-CBN News last week that he killed 3 children and their mother and grandmother in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan while under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
He also admitted that he and his accomplices, aliases "Tony" and "Inggo" raped the 2 women.
Ibañez however claimed Thursday that he was threatened and tortured by the police to confess, which authorities have denied.
Acosta said the suspect's earlier statements could still be used as evidence since he was not coerced by the media.
"Admissible po ang interview ng media dahil hindi naman pulis ang media. Kaya nga napakahalaga ng media sa ating lipunan dahil ang makukuha mong mga interview na iyan, spontaneous iyan e. Wala namang baril ang media, camera lang," she said.
As an example, the PAO chief noted an interview by ABS-CBN newscaster Noli de Castro which was used to strengthen the case against a massacre suspect in San Ildefonso, Bulacan years ago.
Ibanez remains under police custody, as of this posting.
Inggo and another "person of interest" in the case meanwhile were killed by unidentified gunmen earlier this week.
The NBI and police are both investigating the incident.