Last week’s killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo could have” three or four masterminds who planned it and recruited people,” Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said Thursday.
“We think that there are up to three or four masterminds who planned it and recruited people to join them,” Remulla said in a press briefing.
“And that is what we are studying now. That will be part of the statements of the people,” he added.
Degamo and eight others were gunned down by suspects on March 4 while they were distributing aid in his compound in Pampalona, Negros Oriental.
Remulla said the justice department is coordinating with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Executive Secretary’s Office in handling the case of Degamo’s death.
Asked whether Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves is being investigated, Remulla replied: “Well, we’re investigating everybody who may have something to do with what has been happening in Negros Oriental. Bar none. We are not exempting anybody.”
Remulla promised that the government will protect families of possible witnesses.
“That’s why, this morning, I talked to the program director and a few members and told them to give the witnesses a briefing. We can take care of their family as long as they are telling the truth and only the truth,” he added .
For her part, PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said they are continuing to gather evidence related to Degamo’s death.
“On the part of the PNP-SITG (Special Investigation Task Group), they are continuing to gather other evidence. They have only filed five murder and frustrated murder charges because they are still waiting for the loved ones of the victims to mourn and also on the victims that are currently recovering in the hospital,” Fajardo told the “Laging Handa” briefing.
“When it comes to the four arrested suspects, the lawyers of the National Bureau of Investigation are studying and still processing the suspects’ extrajudicial confessions so that they can reveal what they know about the killing of Governor Degamo,” she added.
Fajardo said that the field commanders of the PNP are making ongoing threat assessments to check the threat level of elected and appointed officials and ensure that they could give enough police security coverage. Jaspearl Tan/DMS
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