Father of Bulacan massacre victims under WPP provision

MANILA-- The man whose entire family was massacred inside their residence in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan is now on provision under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Dexter Carlos, husband and father of the victims, a security guard by profession, was given protection to ensure his safety while the death of his family is being investigated and the perpetrators are still being identified by the police and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The provisional admission is contained in a certificate signed by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre dated July 7, 2017.

WPP is a program established under Republic Act No. 6981, or "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.

Aguirre met Carlos on Thursday to determine what assistance the government may extend to him and his relatives.

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.

The DOJ chief said he understands 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," he 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 of her children 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 said.

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 had admitted the crimes in front of his mother and sister when he was arrested.

The suspect also admitted committing the crime in front of the media during a 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.

Source: Philippines News Agency