DOJ to meet with families of missing sabungeros

Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla will meet with the families of the missing sabungeros to assure them that all efforts are being exerted for their case.

In a “24 Oras” report by Emil Sumangil and Saleema Refran, the DOJ said it is currently working on an appeal with the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 40, which granted bail to the six suspects linked to the disappearance of the sabungeros.

“We will exert all our legal remedies,” DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano said.

Remulla together with representatives of the National Bureau of Investigation, Philippine National Police, and prosecutors are set to meet with the relatives of the victims next week.

“Sa tingin siguro nila, ito na yung start of the end of the case, na madi-dismiss. Pero sa amin po, hindi po totoo yan. We will stand strong with what we have and we will prosecute until the end,” Clavano added.

The relatives of the victims continue to express hope for the surfacing of witnesses three years after the incident in Santa Cruz, Laguna took place. Other families have backed out of the case.

“Ang usapan kasi namin, huhugot kami ng lalkas,sa isa’t-isa. Ngayon, kanino na kami huhuhugot ng lakas? Unti-unti na kaming nababawasan,” said Eloisa Bohol, mother of victim Kiel Daniel Bohol.

“Kung sino man yung nakasama nila sa sabungan… Makunsensiya naman, kahit konti bigyan naman kami ng update… Kaliwanagan sa isipan namin. I-consider naman po nila yung mga tao na nawawala, magtata tatlong taon, wala pa kami update,” added Maria Christina Ignacio, wife of victim Mark Joseph.

On August 2023, the families of the six victims withdrew from the case.

Senior Deputy State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon said the case would still proceed despite the withdrawal.

“Parang nawawalan  na rin kami ng pag-asa. Hindi na namin alam sino na yung totoo naming kakampi at makakatulong, pero kami, ito pa rin po patuloy kaming lalaban hanggat may nakikita kami na kahit katiting na pag asa,” said Lanie Bautista, a relative of a sabungero.  —JIselle Anne Casucian/LDF, GMA Integrated News

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