MANILA, Philippines — Is it unlawful to extend assistance to those who want to be helped?
Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David asked this on Monday, September 11, after Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the senior member of the Catholic Church and others who had taken custody of one of the key witnesses in the August 16 killing of Grade 11 student Kian Loyd delos Santos could be charged with obstruction of justice.
“Labag ba sa batas ‘yon na humingi ng tulong sa isang institusyon ‘yong mga tao?” said David in an interview with dzMM radio.
The bishop now stands as the guardian of one of the witnesses and the child’s siblings and lately their father, Roy Concepcion, after the latter was freed on bail and decided to no longer be under the custody of the police and instead be protected by the Church.
READ RELATED STORY: Father of Kian witness seeks sanctuary with Caloocan bishop
Last Sunday, Aguirre said criminal charges could be filed against David and other guardians of the witness if they would not turn over the latter to the National Bureau of Investigation.
“If they still refuse, then there could possibly be an obstruction of justice there,” the DOJ chief said.
But David on Monday denied that neither he nor the Church was willfully interfering with the process of justice and impending the legal process because they were not influencing or threatening the witness, who came to the Church for help with the permission of the parents.
“Obstruction of justice? Kung kailangan po nila [If they need], if they need to summon them, they just have to tell us. We will deliver them,” said David.