DOJ gives WPP benefits to father of Bulacan massacre victims

MANILA-- The Department of Justice (DOJ) will provide benefits to the man whose entire family was massacred inside their residence in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.

This was bared by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as he met Dexter Carlos, the husband and father of the victims, on Thursday.

Apart from the legal assistance being provided by the Public Attorney's Office, Carlos was also given security under the DOJ's WPP.

WPP is a program established under Republic Act No. 6981, "The Witness Protection, Security and Benefit Act", which seeks to encourage a person who has witnessed or has knowledge of the commission of a crime to testify before a court or quasi-judicial body, or before an investigating authority, by protecting him from reprisals and from economic dislocation.

He said Carlos may be included in the WPP if he feels threatened, though he noted the DOJ will still have to study that option.

Upon Aguirre's offer, Carlos applied for WPP protection and was placed under provisional coverage for his security.

We want Mr. Dexter Carlos Sr., to know that the Department of Justice is more than willing to extend any assistance that he may need in getting justice for what was done to his family. This is in addition to the legal assistance being offered by the Public Attorney's Office to him. If he feels threatened or if he fears for his safety, we will study if he can be placed under the Witness Protection Program which the DOJ administers during the duration of the trial of the case to be filed against the suspects. If qualified, we will expedite his admission into the program, Aguirre said.

Aguirre said he understand what Carlos is facing through and that it is the duty of the government to see to it that justice is served him for what happened to his family.

"Losing one's family to criminals is a very hard experience for anyone, we should help him get the justice he deserves... The Department of Justice is more than willing to extend any assistance that he may need in getting justice for what was done to his family," the DOJ chief said.

Earlier, Aguirre ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a parallel probe on the massacre.

Aguirre issued Department Order No.446 dated June 30, 2017 directing NBI Director Dante Gierran to conduct a probe and case build-up on the rape and killing of Estrella Carlos, her daughter Aurora and three children were killed inside their house in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan.

Aguirre said he ordered the parallel probe to take a second look at the findings of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

"Some people were asking that a parallel investigation be made. I don't want to do it but some people wanted the NBI to take a second look at the findings," Aguirre told.

Last June 29, the police presented the suspect identified as Carmelino Ibanes, 26, a native of Negros Occidental and resident North Ridge Royal Subdivision, Barangay Sto. Cristo, San Jose Del Monte City, Bulacan.

Chief Superintendent Aaron Aquino, Police Regional Office-3 (PRO3) director, said Ibanes, a native of Negros Occidental admitted the crimes in front of his mother and sister when he was arrested.

The suspect also admitted committing the crimes in front of the media during the press conference, saying he was high on drugs during that time.

Aquino said that before the murder, Ibanes was in a drinking session with two friends identified only as alias Tony and alias Inggo.

After the drinking session, the trio bought "shabu" in a nearby area and consumed the hard drug.

Aquino said the knife, hair and other recovered pieces of evidence from the crime scene were turned over to the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame for examination.

Source: Philippines News Agency