No special treatment for blast suspect: Palace-A A +A
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
MANILA -- Malacañang assured Wednesday that the suspect in the post-Bar blast at De La Salle University will not get any special treatment despite his association with Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The September 26 bombing suspect Anthony Leal Nepomuceno, a member of the Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity and a graduate of Manuel L. Quezon University, yielded to Binay on Wednesday.
"There will be no special treatment for the suspect. He will be accorded with the due process of law, the same courtesy extended to ordinary citizens," presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima also echoed the same stand during a press conference where the suspect was presented.
"Wala kaming sasantohin. Managot ang dapat managot (We would spare nobody). It doesn't matter to us kung sino ang members ng frat na yan (whoever the member of that fraternity)," De Lima said.
Lacierda said De Lima hinted Tuesday that the Vice President will be bringing in the suspect to the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Binay, who is also a member of APO, facilitated Nepomuceno's appearance at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to answer allegations on his participation in the blast.
But at the NBI, Nepomuceno denied lobbing the MK2 fragmentation grenade that injured nearly 50 persons.
A few hours after the NBI subjected him to investigation, Nepomuceno was released.
NBI spokesman Cecilio Zamora said the suspect cannot be held for a long time because no case was filed yet against him in connection with the blast.
De Lima said she had sought the hierarchy of APO after the suspect's mother, who initially agreed to convince her son to yield, changed her mind and refused to talk about her son's whereabouts.
Binay then convened APO's Council of Elders as response to the DOJ's request. He said if the suspect would like to clear his name, he should submit to the questioning of investigators.
The evidence against Nepomuceno is strong, based on the eyewitnesses accounts and sworn statements of other witnesses, said De Lima.
She added that it was a result of an ongoing "fraternity war with a twist" but she did not elaborate.
The DOJ gave assurance that there would be preliminary investigation on the suspect after the NBI is done with its probe.
De Lima said the suspect is not under detention, though, he has been placed under the Bureau of Immigration's watchlist.
The DOJ chief also ordered the NBI to probe if some APO officials and members could be held liable for allegedly coddling Nepomuceno.
The NBI is set to file multiple frustrated murder and multiple attempted murder charges against Nepomuceno on Thursday at the DOJ.
"It's welcome news for us. At least it will start the prosecution of his case and to give justice to those who were severely affected by blast," Lacierda said.
The NBI continues to track down two other companions of Nepomuceno. (Jill Beltran/JCV/PNA/Sunnex)