President Duterte as court witness?
That seems unthinkable to some but it may happen once the homicide case against the boyfriend of Ashley Abad, Nel Spencer Tiu, reaches the court.
The family of Abad, through his father, Jose Alfonso and the Cebu City Police Office filed the homicide raps this morning (Saturday) despite an earlier revelation of President Duterte that Ashley herself was in the possession of the ecstasy that was found to have caused her death last January 20.
“Nag-reklamo sila, they want justice. Pero nakita nila, na-recover ng forensics examination pati ‘yung… She was the one who was actually texting another girl na maghati sila doon kasi ‘yung isa, reserba niya para sa kanyang boyfriend, ‘yung missing until now,” the President said then recently in Malacanang, adding, “and to make a long shot guess na galing sa boyfriend, eh siya ‘yung may hawak eh. Siya nga nagsabi doon sa text, para ito sa boyfriend niya. So hindi ma-ano sa nanay pati tatay na.”
Because of what Pres. Duterte has revealed, the family of Tiu is seriously considering in asking the President to testify in their favor.
“Bisan muluhod pa mi sa paghangyo niya nga mutestigo, we will do that. We really would humbly request the President that he testifies,” a close confidante of the Tiu family told Newsph.org on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the high-profile case.
The source said the testimony would really be factual and very credible as President Duterte got his information from reliable and established sources.
“Whatever the President would say, it is of high credibility. He has with him the government apparatus on how to get the truth and so his testimony if ever would really be very solid,” the Tiu family friend added.
The source however clarifies that their request to the President to testify would depend on the development of the case as the Cebu City Prosecutors Office will still evaluate if there is a prima facie and strong basis evidence against Tiu.
Once the case would not prosper and will be dropped even only at the level of the prosecutors, the testimony of the President is deemed not necessary.
Nel Spencer along with his parents and legal counsel Orlando Salatandre, Jr. appeared separately in the offices of Cebu City Police Director Royina Garma and Police Regional Director Chief Supt. Debold Sinas last February 14 (as per the recollection of Salatandre) to deny that it was Tiu who gave the ecstasy to Ashley.
Salatandre maintains that his client is innocent which was bolstered by the recent revelation of the President.
He said that they were thankful and relieved on what President Duterte had said.
“It is a vindication of his name, na clear gyud ang iyang name (his name is cleared), pasalamat gyud mi sa President, pasalamat gyud ang pamilya ug ako pud mismo (we are really thankful to the President, the family is thankful and me too),” Salatandre told Newsph.org in a telephone interview.
Ashley, 19, died of ecstasy overdose, a forensics examination showed when her body was autopsied.
The ingestion of the party drug occured during a pre-Sinulog festival music and dance party last January 19 in the Cebu Business Park.
She was brought to a hospital when she collapsed in the middle of party. She died the following day. Apart from Nel Spencer, the teener who was a student of a local university was also with her friends at the time of the incident.