DAD TELLS DOJ
ALAMINOS CITY–A petition for habeas corpus is set to be filed by the parents of the 16-year old boy from Bayambang, the reportedly the witness who claimed he had knowledge of the involvement of Gov. Amado Espino Jr. and First District Rep. Jesus Celeste, presently in the custody of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
At the same time, the boy’s father condemned the NBI for taking the statement of his minor son without the assistance of his parents.
“Minor po ang anak ko. Bakit hindi nila (NBI) ipinaalam sa akin na kukunan siya ng affidavit o statement,” said Jaime Aquino, publisher of a local paper.
The boy’s statement was reportedly the basis for the murder complaint filed before the DOJ and currently under the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program.
“Imposible na na-witness niya at nakita ang pag-uusap ng mga kilalang personalidad ng Pangasinan,” the father said.
In filing a petition for habeas corpus, Aquino said it is them as the parents, and not the DOJ nor the NBI, who should take care of their son.
Aquino said since the NBI took hold of Justin, they had not communicated nor informed them that their son is testifying in such a high-profile case.
“Nabigla ako noong nalaman ko na siya pala ay tumi-testigo laban kay Governor Espino, Congressman Celeste,” said Aquino who admitted that his son, who has been staying with his mother, has not been under his supervision since November 2012.
But Aquino, who was also implicated by his son in the case, clarified that he is certain that his son is not holding any grudge against him.
“Sigurado ko po na hindi nagtatampo ang anak ko. Unang-una, siya po ay pinag-aral ko sa Baguio, kasama ang tatlong kapatid,” Aquino said.
The boy-witness claims that his father was present in a meeting at a beach resort in Bolinao, reportedly owned by Celeste, when the murder of Martinez was planned.
“Hindi ko alam kung bakit ako napasama,” Aquino said.
The witness stated in his 16-page sworn statement that he overheard Espino, Celeste, and other personalities in Pangasinan and Zambales plotting to kill Martinez more than a year before the mayor was murdered on December 15, 2012 by men riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle.
Aquino said his son was initially enrolled at the Roxas High School in Baguio in June, but after they found out that he has been skipping his classes, they moved him to Aquino’s hometown Mapandan.
While in Baguio, his son was detained at the Baguio Youth Center for a month for causing trouble in the house the Aquino family was renting.
In Mapandan, the son exhibited the same behaviour and his father learned that he has been hanging out with “fake media men” in extorting money from politicians.
Aquino also denied bringing his son along in his trips and meetings and maintained that his son is not a credible witness and “neither is the NBI credible in its investigation.”
“I’m sure my son is only being dictated upon,” he said.