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Prosecutor to 'Peninsula 50': We won't prolong your agony

December 1, 2007 8:38am

The head of a government panel investigating Thursday's siege of The Peninsula Manila in Makati City on Saturday assured 50 personalities led by Senator Antonio Trillanes and Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim that their agony would not be prolonged.

Emmanuel Velasco, senior state prosecutor, said the panel was working double time on the cases of those who were tagged in the siege. He particularly assured two "elderly" respondents, former bishop Julio Labayen, and former vice president Teofisto Guingona Jr, that there was nothing personal about the panel's work.

"Ayaw namin patagalin ang kaso so as not to prolong the agony of the respondents. Kung walang kasalanan, p'wede nang i-release at kung meron, trabaho lang po (We are working fast to avoid prolonging the agony of the respondents. We want to see to it that if they are innocent, they can be released immediately. If they are liable, we want to assure them this is just work and there is nothing personal)," Velasco said in an interview on dzRH radio.

As this developed, Velasco belied Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez's claim that some media personalities would be charged with rebellion.

Velasco said the Philippine National Police did not include any media practitioner in the initial batch of 50 personalities who were slapped with charges of rebellion and inciting to rebellion.

"Walang dinemanda na taga-media, at sa aking paningin, naobserbahan, walang ginawang pagkakamali ang media (There was no media personality charged. And from what I have observed so far, media did not do anything wrong during the standoff)," said Velasco, who worked as a newspaper reporter before joining the prosecution service. - GMANews.TV