National Capital Region Police Office chief Brig. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said that Galido and Dela Serna could face perjury charges after they retracted their statement which they made under oath.
However, the lawyers of Dela Serna and Galido said that their clients’ affidavits were illegal anyway and inadmissible in court as evidence because the police allegedly violated the suspects’ right to self-incriminate.
“They were interviewed without the presence of a counsel and they were read promises, misrepresentations, that if they would not point to someone in relation to a drug case, they would rot in jail,” one of the lawyers, Abigail Portugal, said in a television interview.
“Not only were they pressured, but they were also intimidated. They were manipulated. Words were put into their mouths. They were subjected to psychological warfare because they lacked sleep. They were under duress,” another lawyer, Mike Santiago, said.
The two even claimed in an interview that the police did not read their Miranda rights or the constitutional protection against self-incrimination.
The lawyers added that Danao and Makati police chief Col. Harold Depositar’s denial that Galido and Dela Serna were forced to lie was beside the point because interviewing a suspect without a lawyer was in itself illegal.
“There was no pressure, no torture. They were treated well,” Depositar said in a message.
Police threaten to file perjury charges vs. Galido, Dela Serna for retracting statements
Depositar also noted that De la Serna, Galido, and another respondent, John Paul Halili, were put in a separate detention cell until they were released on January 6.
Danao also wondered why the two never mentioned the police forced them on their previous interviews and social media posts.
Earlier, Galido said the Makati PNP forced him to lie in exchange for their freedom.
“Pino-force kami na dapat magsabi, magturo kami ng someone kapalit ng kalayaan namin. Siyempre, wala akong alam kung anong dapat gawin. Gulong-gulo ‘yung isip ko,” said Rommel Galido.
JP Dela Serna also withdrew his earlier statement that one of the guests at Christine Dacera’s New Year’s Eve party at a hotel in Makati was carrying “powder drugs.”