Medel: I don’t know him

- Rainier Allan Ronda () - July 15, 2007 - 12:00am

The man who once accused Roger Lawrence “Rod” Strunk of masterminding the killing of his wife Nida Blanca maintained yesterday that he does not know Strunk and does not care about his alleged suicide.

“Do you want me to make an emotional outburst here because he died? I can’t have an emotional reaction because I don’t know him. He is Greek to me, Greek meaning he is unknown to me,”said Philip Medel Jr., the alleged murderer-for-hire who confessed to the killing of Blanca in 2001 under the instructions of Strunk, only to retract his statement later, saying it was only a result of police torture.

Medel, in an interview with The STAR in the office of Pasig City Jail warden Superintendent Nestor Velasquez yesterday, stood by his earlier testimony before the Pasig City Regional Trial Court where he is facing murder charges.

Medel said he learned about Strunk’s death due to insistent media requests to interview him regarding the issue.

He also refused to delve on his murder trial.

“It is now sub judice,” he pointed out.

The Department of Justice filed murder charges against Medel because of his earlier confession on his participation in Blanca’s death.

Meanwhile, Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta yesterday urged law enforcers to concentrate on their manhunt for the other suspects in the murder of Blanca.

Acosta asked the Philippine National Police (PNP) and other law enforcement agencies “to speed up its investigation into the Nida Blanca case and apprehend the suspects who remain at large because it is not only Blanca who is the victim here but the people of the Philippines. ”

“The cases against these people should be pursued,” she added.

Apart from Strunk, also accused in the case are Medel, Mike Martinez, and a still unidentified person. Martinez and the unidentified person are both at large.

Noel Morales, National Bureau of Investigation-Security Management Division (NBI-SMD) chief, said Medel was transferred from the bureau to the Pasig City Jail  on Jan. 19, 2005 as instructed by Judge Alex Quiroz of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (PCRTC) Branch 156.

NBI Deputy Director for Technical Services (DDTS) Edmund Arugay also said he would recommend to the NCR unit to concentrate on the search for the other suspects.

Both Acosta and the NBI said they have not yet received an official report that would confirm Strunk’s sudden death. 

Regional Director Ruel Lasala, NBI-National Capital Region (NCR) chief, said that, “with the reported death of Mr. Strunk then the criminal and civil liabilities against him would be extinguished.”  – With Evelyn Macairan

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