The suspect in the killing of a family in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and rape in his first arraignment.
Carmelino Ibañes, a 26-year-old construction worker, was accused of killing 5 members of the Carlos family, including three children aged 1, 5 and 11.
He had earlier admitted to doing the crime while he was high on drugs, but retracted his statement saying he was only threatened and tortured by cops to confess.
Ibañes was brought to the Bulacan Regional Trial Court Friday for his first arraignment.
His lawyer, Atty. Jose Cruz, asked that the arraignment be suspended because the suspect may not be sound and may need to be brought to a mental hospital.
The camp of the Carlos family and the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, who filed the charges, called it merely a "delaying tactic."
The court rejected Cruz and Ibañes' plea and continued with the trial for 5 cases of rape, but allowed that Ibañes be able to seek psychological and psychiatric evaluation in any medical institution.
Ibañes was later brought to the Bulacan Provincial Jail and will undergo tests to see if he is fit for trial.
However, he maintained in an interview with ABS-CBN News that he has a stable mind.
"Wala naman po ako nararamdaman, ewan ko po sa kanila," he said.
Of the suspects in the case, only Ibañes remains alive. Three "persons of interest" in the case have been killed in suspected vigilante attacks.
"Mahirap kasi nangyari sa buhay ko, pagsisisi. Ito po ang nangyari, di ko naman ginusto. Siguro ganito ang aking kapalaran," he told ABS-CBN News tearfully.
"Humihingi ako ng tawad kung nagkamali man po ako, mapatawad man po nila ako o hindi," he said.
Ibañes also begged his family for support in these trying times.
"Sana dalawin po ako ng nanay at ate ko...kasi di ako dinadalaw...Sana Ma, Ate, sana dalawin nyo ako minsan," he said.