‘Major player’ in Degamo’s assassination surrenders

NEGROS. Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo was shot multiple times in an attack in his home at Pamplona town on Saturday, March 4, 2023. (Contributed photo)
NEGROS. Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo was shot multiple times in an attack in his home at Pamplona town on Saturday, March 4, 2023. (Contributed photo)

A DISCHARGED soldier who is considered a “major player” in the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo has surrendered to authorities, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos Jr. said on Monday, March 20, 2023.

In a press conference of the Joint Task Force Degamo held at the Department of Justice office in Manila, Abalos said the suspect surrendered to a military unit in Negros and will be turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

AFP Chief of Staff General Andres Centino said the suspect surrendered on Friday, March 17, and he was brought to Manila over the weekend.

He said the suspect holds “vital and critical information” that will help in the immediate resolution of Degamo’s killing.

The task force refused to divulge any other information about the suspect but Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said he was a “direct participant” and was named by the other gunmen -- Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, and Benjie Rodriguez, who were earlier arrested by the police and admitted involvement in Degamo’s murder.

“Very critical ang information niya, one of the main players dito sa naganap na pangyayari itong taong ito kasama siya. Marami na siyang sanabi pero vinavalidate pa natin muna lahat para malaman natin kung gaano katotoo lahat yan bago natin isama sa case information,” he said.

(His information is very critical, as he is one of the main players in this incident. He said a lot but we have to validate everything first so we know how true it all is before we include it in the case information.)

“’Yung mga sinasabi niya (His statement) corroborates the previous statements given to us and he knows the other people who were involved kaya alam natin ‘yung extent ng network (that’s why we know that extent of his network),” Remulla added.

Asked whether the surrendered suspect can identify the brains behind Degamo’s killing, the justice secretary said it is “very possible.”

Abalos said that so far, 30 complaints were filed against the four arrested suspects and 12 John Does in relation to the killing of Degamo and eight other individuals in Pamplona town on March 4.

These complaints include nine murder charges, 15 for frustrated murder, three for attempted murder and three for violations to the firearms and ammunition law.

The four arrested suspects earlier named Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. as the mastermind in the killing.

Remulla said amid the ongoing investigation, “there are circumstances that would lead you (to believe) that he (Teves) was perhaps involved in the crime.”

“But the specifics of that we cannot tell you,” he added.

Remulla expressed belief that the government will have a strong case against the perpetrators of Degamo’s assassination. (SunStar Philippines)


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