Reynaldo de Guzman's parents now under witness protection program

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — The parents of Reynaldo "Kulot" de Guzman have been admitted into the justice department's Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said Eduardo Gabriel and Lina de Guzman went to his office Friday and expressed their intent to be placed under the program.

He explained the admission is initially provisional, but the setup will be permanent in the next days, as two of the De Guzman children are both minors and also under the custody of the WPP.

Aguirre did not say whether the De Guzmans are receiving threats but he clarified even without threats, the government is mandated to give them protection.

"After all, WPP is the only entity empowered under Philippine laws to secure witnesses to a crime and to take care of them," Aguirre said in a statement. "This mandate and duty is provided for under the express provisions of Republic Act No. 6981."

Aguirre would have wanted all witnesses to the recent killings of minors to be under the protective custody of the WPP including those of Kian Loyd delos Santos.

"Ang concern namin is naaabala ang imbestigasyon sapagkat pag ang imbestigasyon ay naabala diyan pumapasok yung mga nanggugulo o kaya magkaroon ng hindi pagsasabi ng katotohanan," he said.

[Translation: Our concern is that the investigations are interrupted because there are those out to instigate trouble, then they won't tell the truth.]

Meanwhile, the De Guzman couple, together with Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Acosta, already filed double murder charges Thursday with the Department of Justice (DOJ) against PO1 Jeffrey Perez, Ricky Arquilita and taxi driver Tomas Bagcal for the death of their 14-year-old son and his 19-year-old friend, Carl Arnaiz.

They are also facing charges of torture and planting of evidence.

Arnaiz was allegedly killed in a shootout after robbing Bagcal, which Acosta disputed with forensic results and witnesses.

The suspected body of Reynaldo was later found in a creek in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, but police said DNA results did not match.

The DOJ had also began their probe on they slay case of 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos, who was killed in an anti-illegal drug operation in August.