MANILA (UPDATED) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) has denied Sunday the claims of the counsel of Marvin Miranda, one of the individuals tagged in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo.
The DOJ told ABS-CBN News that "all [the respondents] have denied engaging his services."
"Upon verification, none of the respondents have agreed to meet with the purported lawyer. They all have denied engaging his services," DOJ Spokesperson Mico Clavano told ABS-CBN News.
He added that since the claims of the counsel went out, the DOJ has advised the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to "be cautious in dealing with the lawyer to prevent any misunderstandings."
"The integrity of this high-profile and politically-charged case is of utmost importance. We cannot let strangers to the case force their involvement," said Clavano.
The said counsel, former DOJ Undersecretary Reynante Orceo, claimed that the NBI barred him from seeing his client on Saturday afternoon.
"Di ko puwede kausapin. I asked, sabi 'under process.' I asked ano ibig sabihin ng 'under process' -- sabi secret. Sabi ko may secret ba sa investigation," Orceo, who represents Miranda, said in a phone interview.
"Iniwasan ako ng iniwasan. itinatago talaga nila. Allegedly nasa NBI compound, pero I don’t know."
Orceo said he waited for about two and a half hours.
"Ginagawa na nga ako bola, pinagpasapasahan ako," he said.
According to Orceo, details of Miranda's arrest were unclear.
"I asked around parang kagabi he was brought to NBI around 1 a.m... May binanggit na name na arresting officer but I need to confirm that," he noted.
"I don’t believe may warrant kasi wala pa naman naisasampa na kaso. So warrantless, so it took them how many days for them to arrest... warrantless ito. Invalid arrest— Illegal detention na yan," Orceo asserted.
He said it is Miranda's right to have a "legal counsel of his choice." In his absence, any statement Miranda gives may be declared void.
"Dapat may karapatan siya sa abogado. Ba't ayaw pakausap? Hindi pwede kung sino sino lang binigay."
The NBI has supposedly arrested one of the suspected masterminds in the killing of Degamo last March 4, Justice Secretary Crispin "Boying" Remulla said Friday.
“There’s a breakthrough. It’s 99% solved - the Degamo case is 99% solved,” Remulla said.
However, Remulla did not reveal the identity or location where the suspect was arrested.
“The NBI was able to catch a main player… name we have not yet discuss here but practically I would say… in my own reading of the situation….one of the masterminds was caught today. Fleeing from Negros Oriental, he was caught somewhere else… outside Negros na,” Remulla said.
Remulla also showed the waiver of confidentiality issued by former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves that allows authorities to check his bank accounts and phone records to help in the investigation of the case.
—With reports from Raffy Santos, ABS-CBN News