Suspect in Enzo Pastor slay accuse QC police of 'set-up'
MANILA, Philippines – The suspected mastermind of the murder of car racer Enzo Pastor on Friday, October 24, asked state investigators to throw out the criminal complaint filed against him by Quezon City police, whom he accused of a "set-up."
Businessman Domingo “Sandy” de Guzman made the allegation in a 16-page counter-affidavit he submitted to prosecutors handling the preliminary investigation into the June 12 slay of Pastor.
De Guzman denied allegations that he had tapped alleged gunman Police Officer 2 Edgar Angel to kill Pastor, and claimed that the police had “set-him up.”
In his counter-affidavit, De Guzman stressed that "there is no credible evidence to constitute probable cause against me for the crime of murder" since the police relied solely on the extra-judicial confession of Angel, which the policeman himself later retracted.
In his earlier extrajudicial confession, Angel claimed that De Guzman hired him to kill Pastor for P100,000. The police officer later submitted his counter-affidavit to the Department of Justice on September 8 disowning his "confession" which he said was just a “script” written by the police.
De Guzman said that Angel's retraction should be considered and upheld given the "special circumstances" in the case.
“The ‘story’ narrated by PO2 Angel in his supposed extrajudicial confession is an imaginary episode by the police to create a malicious criminal charge against me….Obviously, the investigators/writers tailored fit it to how they would want their story to look like,” he said.
De Guzman submitted closed circuit television (CCTV) footage to investigators to debunk the allegations that Quezon City police arrested him following an entrapment operation.
The businessman submitted copies of CCTV footage from Unique Autowerkes Shop, Seaoil gasoline station, and the Sto Niño Village Homeowners’ Association to support his claim that he was unarmed at the time of the arrest, and that he did not hand over the supposed P20,000-bonus to Angel.
He said the CCTV footage showed that within 14 seconds, he was apprehended and handcuffed, making it impossible for him to even speak with Angel.
In an interview with reporters after the hearing, De Guzman said he didn't get to meet Angel to supposedly hand him his payment since as police approached him, asked who he was, and when they confirmed his identity, they pulled him out of his car and handcuffed him.
"How can I give the money to PO2 Angel if I was handcuffed?" De Guzman asked.
In his counter-affidavit, he accused the police of conducting an "illegal warrantless arrest."
De Guzman also said that the testimony of Chona Domen, the Pastors' nanny, only claimed that he and Dalia had an illicit relationship.
“If at all, her testimonies simply allege my supposed illicit affair with Daliah Pastor. Nowhere, however, does she state that I planned the killing of Enzo Pastor. A claim of illicit relationship does not constitute conspiracy to the crimes of murder (of Enzo Pastor) and frustrated murder (of Paolo Salazar, Pastor’s aide),” De Guzman said in his counter-affidavit.
He said that the evidence against him "consist purely of bare allegations, surmises and conjectures. A fact cannot be established on the basis of surmises or conjectures."
"Suspicion cannot give probative force to testimony which in itself is insufficient to establish or to justify an inference of a particular fact for ‘the sea of suspicion has no shore, and the court that embarks upon it is without rudder or compass’,” De Guzman said.
Dalia still a no-show
The preliminary hearing on Friday, presided by Assistant State Prosecutor Susan Villanueva, was the first to be attended by De Guzman who was accompanied by lawyer Enrique de la Cruz.
Dalia, who is included in the criminal complaint, failed to appear before the preliminary hearing for the fifth time, thus waiving her right to submit her counter-affidavit. She faces parricide and frustrated homicide charges.
The victim's parents, Remy and Tomas Pastor, told reporters in an interview that their daughter-in-law's continued failure to attend the preliminary investigation indicated guilt.
“As they say, flight means guilt. So I know that she is really guilty. She always asks her father Guerrero to take the cudgels for her, even crying on her behalf, but she has to support the claims of her father. But she is running away from her responsibility,” Remy said. – Rappler.com