MANILA (Mabuhay) — Complainants in the Maguindanao massacre case should expose alleged bribery attempts from the Ampatuan clan so that the government can come to their aid, Malacañang said Wednesday.
At a press briefing, presidential spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda said the Aquino administration is ready to assist relatives of Maguindanao massacre victims in filing bribery cases.
“It depends on the person who claimed that she was offered a bribe to come out and present the testimony and we will look into it,” Lacierda told reporters.
“Otherwise, we won’t be able to act on it e, kasi kailangan mo talaga ng personal knowledge ‘nung taong nilagyan or in-offer na bigyan ng lagay,” he added.
The Palace official made these statements after Myrna Reblando, widow of slain Manila Bulletin reporter Alejandro Reblando, revealed that she was supposedly offered a P3-million bribe by members of the Ampatuan family in exchange for her silence.
Members of the Ampatuan clan are facing multiple counts of murder before a Quezon City court for allegedly masterminding the massacre in November 2009, which claimed the lives of 58 people, most of them members of the media.
Mrs. Reblando also claimed receiving threats after she rejected the bribe, forcing her to stay in Hong Kong while the Maguindanao massacre case is being heard.
Lacierda, for his part, said that mechanisms are in place to protect complainants in the Maguindanao massacre case, including the Witness Protection Program.
“If there are any attempts to bribe, then the best course of action is really we’d like to offer you protection in that respect,” the Palace official said. (MNS)