“We are facilitating justice, not obstructing it.”
This was Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David’s response to a supposed threat by the Department of Justice to file cases for obstruction of justice against him for taking custody of key witnesses to the August 16 slay of teenager Kian de los Santos.
David pointed out that all he did was provide sanctuary at the request of the witnesses, who, he said, could be summoned by authorities at any time.
“We are motivated only by faith, never by politics,” he said.
On Sunday, a standoff ensured between the bishop and the Philippine National Police, together with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and the Public Attorney’s Office at the prelate’s residence.
The police brought Roy Concepcion, father of the key witnesses, who wanted to get his children from the Caloocan bishop.
After talking to his children, however, Concepcion made a turnaround and also sought the protection of the Church.
On Monday, it was the turn of the parents of Kian de los Santos to appeal to David and Sen. Risa Hontiveros to release the witnesses to the government.
It was Hontiveros who turned over the witnesses to David after they were released from the custody of the Senate, following their testimony in a Senate inquiry.
Jimenez and Lorenza de los Santos cried profusely as they asked David and Hontiveros to set aside politics and let justice take its course.
The parents of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz, who was killed by Caloocan police two days after de los Santos’ slay, and 14-year-old companion Reynaldo de Guzman whose body was found in Gapan, Nueva Ecija last week, joined the call to release the witnesses.
with ASHLEY ERIKA JOSE