Gov't assures protection of crimes' key witnesses-A A +A
Saturday, February 9, 2013
MANILA -- Malacanang assured Saturday that the government is ready to provide protection to witnesses following the death of a key witness in the murder of Palawan environmentalist and journalist Gerry Ortega.
Dennis Aranas, who allegedly served as a lookout in the murder of Ortega, was found dead by fellow inmates inside the Quezon provincial jail in Lucena City.
Ortega’s supporters have raised concern over the deaths of key witnesses in the murder.
In a radio interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Aquino administration remains committed to protecting witnesses to solve crimes happening in the country, like the Ortega murder case.
"Yes, we are committed to protecting the witnesses who need protection; it is the matter of approaching the Secretary of Justice to say that 'we need your help' and Secretary De Lima said that the death of the witness will not affect the ongoing the case," Valte said.
"So we are fully committed to providing security to those who will ask for the protection of the DOJ," she added.
Jail officials in Lucena City said Aranas allegedly committed suicide because he could no longer bear the brunt of being in prison. The police said it would conduct a postmortem investigation to erase doubts about foul play.
Aranas, as part of a three-man hit team that killed Ortega, acted as a lookout, according to police investigation. Ortega was killed on January 24, 2010.
Former Palawan governor Joel Reyes is being hunted down by the police for his alleged link to the murder of Ortega. (SDR/Sunnex)