Slain prosecutor’s daughter says suspects harassing witnesses

By Jeffrey Damicog

The suspects tagged in the killing of a government prosecutor have allegedly been threatening the witnesses who are set to testify against them.

This was disclosed by Dr. Victoria Velasco, daughter of slain Quezon City deputy prosecutor Rogelio Velasco, said three witnesses, who were to testify against the accused, failed to appear in Monday’s hearing at the Department of Justice (DOJ), which is currently conducting a preliminary investigation on the murder complaint against the three policemen who allegedly conspired to kill her father.

All dressed in black, prosecutors and co-workers of slain Quezon City deputy prosecutor Rogelio Velasco gathered in front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice, Tuesday to condemn the killing of their colleague whose gunmen remain unidentified. Velasco is the 13th prosecutor who was killed since 1992. Velasco was gunned down by four assailants last May 11 while driving home with his two daughters in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. The Quezon City Police formed a special task force to investigate the fiscal's case, while the National Bureau of Investigation had been tasked to probe the incident. (Kevin Tristan Espiritu)
All dressed in black, prosecutors and co-workers of slain Quezon City deputy prosecutor Rogelio Velasco gathered in front of the Quezon City Hall of Justice, May 15, 2018, to condemn the killing of their colleague whose gunmen remain unidentified. (KEVIN TRISTAN ESPIRITU / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Nag-oath six witnesses (Six witnesses took their oaths on Monday). Including me. But three witnesses did not appear due to fear for their lives,” Victoria said.

Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong is currently conducting a preliminary investigation over the murder complaints filed by Velasco’s family and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against three of the suspects, namely, SPO2 Rodante Sicat Lalimarmo, PO3 Arthur Yasonio Lucy, and PO1 Jose Lunar.

Victoria lamented that one of the three witnesses, who failed to appear, has reportedly been harassed since last year.

“Lagi may dalawang motorcycle-riding men sa labas ng bahay niya lalo na nung September na nag-file ng murder case ang NBI at DOJ QC (Two motorcycle-riding men have been seen outside of the house of the witness especially on September last year when the National Bureau of Investigation filed the complaints),” Victoria said.

“Last December sabi ng witness nato (also last December the same witness said), Lucy who’s supposed to be on restrictive custody was seen outside her house,” she lamented.

In Monday’s hearing, the complainants agreed to no longer file replies to the counter-affidavits filed by the three police respondents.

Meanwhile, Ong set another hearing on March 25 where the NBI will conduct an examination of the closed circuit television (CCTV) camera footage which was used as evidence against the respondents.

The prosecutor died after being ambushed on May 11, 2018, in front of the Persian Kitchen in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City.

A white Toyota Innova with plate number XNR 256 blocked the path of Velasco’s vehicle and four armed men got out and fired at the victim.

 
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