‘Walang credibility:’ Remulla dismisses ‘new witness’ as ‘distraction’ coming from Teves camp

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 11 2023 06:14 PM

MANILA — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla dismissed the alleged new witness in the Degamo slay who came forward Wednesday to claim that a Degamo relative allegedly tried to hire him to kill Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

A certain Marlon Quibod talked to the media on Wednesday before proceeding to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to submit his 2-page sworn statement, along with his lawyers.

“They were asked a lot of questions and from the initial impression…there was nothing to it. Talagang karga lang. Pinapatong lang, sinusubo lang nila para ma-distract ng story. Yan ang lumalabas,” Remulla said of the NBI’s impression of Quibod.

“The NBI has a record of it. But their impression is there’s nothing to it. No credibility whatsoever,” he added.

Degamo was killed inside his house in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on March 4, along with 9 others when armed men opened fire in broad daylight.

Remulla had previously named suspended Congressman Arnolfo Teves, Jr. as the main mastermind in the killing.

But the new witness on Wednesday claimed a certain ‘Brownie,’ whom he later identified as “Mayor Fritz,” was allegedly one of those who tried to hire him to kill the governor.

He said he refused because he already had a pending criminal case.

In his statement, the new witness claimed he saw Brownie/Mayor Fritz through a videocall with a certain Arnel Libradilla, one of the suspects in the Degamo killings who was killed in the aftermath.

“Tinanong ko siya kung sino si Brownie, tapos tinawagan niya sa video call si Brownie…Noong Marso 6, 2023, nabalitaan ko na lang na pinatay si Governor Degamo at itong si Arnel ay namatay din dahil tinutugis ng mga kapulisan…Pagkatapos po noon nakita ko sa mga balita ang nangyari at itong mga nakaraang mga linggo na si Brownie pala ay si Mayor Fritz,” the notarized sworn statement of Quibod said.

On Wednesday, Mayor Fritz Diaz appeared before a Senate probe, identified as the nephew of Governor Degamo.

But Remulla doubted the veracity of Quibod’s statement.

“[O]ut of nowhere, here comes nobody with a story and suddenly everybody knows about it. So sinong nagkakalat ng ganyan?,” he asked.

“Pangalawa, yung abugadong kasama niya would not swear by the story. Nautusan lang daw sila. When you ask them who told them to accompany the person, ayaw nilang sabihin. Hindi naman nila kilala personally yung tao. So whose operation is this?,” he asked.

Asked who is behind the new witness, Remulla said: “People in their camp, the Teves camp. They’re the ones who have something to gain by muddling the situation.”

Remulla scored the lawyers who accompanied Quibod, saying they were not even willing to stake their reputation on his claims.

“[T]he lawyers will not swear by it e. We’re asking the lawyers to be responsible. Sila nagsasama di i-stake niyo ang career sa sinasamahan nyo. Pero ayaw naman ng mga abugado. Ayaw nga magpakilala ng mga abugado e. Ayaw magpakilala nang maayos e,” he said.

Remulla said Quibod left the NBI with the lawyers.

He warned the media not to immediately believe statements from alleged new witnesses.

“Huwag kayong makikinig kasi these are people with no ano e, walang credibility to e. To be credible, it must come from a credible source,” he said.

Eleven individuals have been charged in court with multiple murder, frustrated and attempted murder. 

The NBI, meanwhile, is set to file murder complaints before the DOJ against Teves on Friday or Monday.


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