Press Release
September 25, 2023

Tolentino ensures safety of 3 new witnesses in Elvie Vergara case

MANILA -- Senator Francis "Tol" Tolentino urged the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG)-Mindoro and Senate Sergeant-at-Arms to ensure that the three new witnesses in the kasambahay Elvie Vergara case, namely Melinda Magno, 'Alias Paopao,' and Richard Pinto, be protected even beyond the inquiry.

"Siguraduhin natin na habang dinidinig at kahit tapos na 'tong usapin na ito ay walang mangyari sa kanila. Kaya nga lumantad sila dito para lumabas ang katotohanan," Sen. Tol remarked during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Monday.

Sen. Tol further noted that there may be other witnesses who can testify but opted not to out of fear.

"Nahihirapan lumantad 'yong iba. Siguro natatakot o baka malayo na 'yong tirahan," the Senate Justice panel chairperson said.

Meanwhile, the three new witnesses all pointed at France and Pablo Ruiz when asked by the panel on who abused the blinded Vergara.

Last September 12, star witness of the case, Jay-ar Suarez Dimerez or 'Alias Dodong,' was attacked by unknown gunmen in his residence. Although unharmed, Tolentino immediately urged CIDG to protect him.

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