Ex-chief justice Bersamin getting death threats

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    RETIRED chief justice Lucas Bersamin has been receiving death threats and has been provided with security details, the Supreme Court said yesterday.

    SC Spokesman Brian Keith Hosaka said Bersamin himself told him about the threats though the former declined to provide details as from whom the threats came from.

    “I learned about that yesterday (Tuesday) when I briefly talked to him just before the ceremony for his Doctors of Law conferment by UE,” Hosaka said.

    But Hosaka said Bersamin, who retired from the judiciary last October 18 after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70, remained unruffled by the threats and was taking it in stride.

    “He was his normal self-confident self. I guess coming from a political family, they have encountered this scenario before and they know how to handle it,” he said.

    Bersamin came from a political family in Abra whose members include former governor Estaquio Bersamin.

    His brother, then Abra congressman Luis Bersamin, and his bodyguard, SPO1 Adelfo Ortega, was killed on December 16, 2006 after he attended his daughter’s wedding at the Mt. Carmel Church in Quezon City.

    Bersamin, who was then an SC associate justice, had executed an affidavit identifying former Abra governor Vicente Valera as the person with the strongest motive to kill his brother allegedly because he was a threat to the political plans of Valera and his wife.

    Reached for comment, Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra said authorities are ready to provide security to the former chief justice if needed.

    “If former CJ Bersamin needs protection from the National Bureau of Investigation, or he wants to investigate where the threat is coming from, we will help,” Guevarra said.
    The NBI is the main investigating agency of the DOJ.