MANILA, Philippines – Police Officer 2 (PO2) Edgar Angel, who earlier confessed to gunning down race car driver Enzo Pastor, has retracted his statement, claiming he made it under duress.
Chief Superintendent Richard Albano, Quezon City Police District chief, insisted however that they did not force Angel to admitting to the crime, and said his confession remained valid.
“Na-medical yan. Hindi namin napilit yan. Covered by video, doon sa confession niya (He underwent a medical check-up. We did not force him. There’s a video of his confession),” Albano said in a press conference in Camp Crame on Monday, September 8.
Angel is the alleged gunman hired by businessman Domingo de Guzman, who supposedly masterminded the murder of Pastor, alongisde Pastor's widow Dahlia. De Guzman was arrested and charged for illegal possession of firearms but has since been released on bail.
In a counter-affidavit filed on Monday, Angel said his confession was made under duress, and called his arrest was “unlawful.”
He said when he was first arrested at Metrowalk, Pasig City, there were no illegal drugs in his body or inside his father’s sedan.
“I was handcuffed, received bodily blows, brought at (sic) Camp Karingal, ang my father’s car impounded. I was detained without charges,” said Angel.
Angel alleged that “to justify his detention,” police brought him to Boni Serrado road in Quezon City later the same day. There, cops allegedly conducted a “stage-managed ‘buy-bust’ operation.”
Angel added that police had already prepared an “extra-judicial confession” which he initially refused to sign. Angel said two female Public Attorneys Office lawyers “refused to assist” him in signing the confession. Later, he was brought to the office of “Atty Lumantao” of the Quezon City IBP at the Quezon City Hall of Justice.
Fearing his captors, Angel said he was forced to sign the confession. “[Police] told me blankly that, if I did not cooperate, all the unsolved crimes in Quezon City will be heaped on me…. Or ipasyal daw nila ako na ang ibig sabihin na babarilin nila ako na kunwari ako’y umagaw ng kanilang baril at lumaban,” Angel said.
(They said they would take me around, meaning they would shoot me and make it seem like I took their gun and fought back.)
Albano insisted, however, that Angel’s confession was valid since he was personally assisted by a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) when he made it.
“He was interviewed by media. Meron pang isa ulit, na one-on-one kung ano partisipasyon niya at sinabi niya lahat-lahat,” added Albano. (In another interview, he detailed his participation, he confessed to everything.) – Rappler.com