Inclusion in Witness Protection Program of Percy Lapid’s self-confessed gunman?

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin 'Boying' C. Remulla

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla on Thursday, Oct. 20, said he is “open” to inclusion in the government’s Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the self-confessed gunman in the murder of radio commentator Percival Mabasa, better known as Percy Lapid.

“Kung talagang yun lang ang paraan para matapos natin ang kaso, possible po ‘yan (If that is the only way to resolve the case, that’s possible),” Remulla said in an interview over DZBB.

“Yan po ay napag-uusapan at ‘yan po ay dadaan sa scrutiny ng court (That can be discussed and will undergo court scrutiny),” he said.

But Remulla said self-confessed gunman Joel S. Escorial did not seek WPP coverage when he surrendered to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

“Nung siya po ay sumuko wala po sa usapan na siya po ay maging state witness (When he surrendered, there were no talks for him to become a state witness),” he said.

“Talaga hong sumuko ho siya kasi nga nagkaroon siya ng fear na baka siya pa yung patayin ng kanyang mga kasama (He surrendered because he feared that his companions might kill him),” he also said.

Escorial was presented for inquest Tuesday night, Oct. 18, before the DOJ for murder in violation of Article 248 of the Revised Penal Code (RPC) for the killing of Mabasa.

Also named as Escorial’s co-respondents were brothers Edmon and Israel Dimaculangan, and a person identified only as “Orly” or “Orlando.”

Remulla said he has directed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to join the probe already being conducted by the PNP.

“The NBI is playing a secondary role in terms of investigating sa conspiracy na meron pong involved sa Bilibid (that an inmate of the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City was also involved in the crime),” he said.

Escorial had revealed that he had been contracted to kill Mabasa by “somebody” within the NBP.

Remulla said he has also directed Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Q. Bantag to investigate Escorial’s disclosure.

TAGS: #DOJ #REMULLA #Percy Lapid #Escorial