Abalos DILG Secretary Benjamin’Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr. holds a sniper rifle seized by PNP agents in Bayawan City Negros Oriental. The DILG chief is flanked by PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. and PNP-CIDG director, Brigadier General Romeo M. Caramat Jr. Also in photo is AFP chief General Andres C. Centino. Photo by ALFRED P. DALIZON


March 27, 2023 Alfred P. Dalizon 193 views

DEPARTMENT of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin ‘Benhur’ C. Abalos Jr. on Monday called on one ‘Demonyo’ (Devil) — whom he tagged as the brains behind the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo and eight others last March 4 — to surrender now and face the criminal charges against him in court.

“Ang pangalan ng mastermind eh Demonyo. Maski sa birth certificate, alam ko ang middle initial nito eh Demonyo,” the DILG chief said although he did not really name the suspect citing legal procedures.

Abalos expressed confidence that the Special Investigation Task Group Degamo composed of officers from the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are already in the ‘very end of unmasking the brains.’

“Alam kong alam mo kung sino ka na kaya sumuko ka na. Alam mo kung sino ka at sumuko ka na. Sa iba pa namang hindi sumusuko, nais kong sabihin sa inyo na iba ang utak ng taong it. He’s very devious, he’s very evil, lahat ng kasamaan nasa kanya,” the DILG chief said.

“Right now, this is what I assure him, malakas na ang aming ebidensiya, ang importanteng testimonies, forensic evidence laban sayo kaya wag mo nang parusahan ang sarili mo. Sumuko ka na,” he said.

Abalos commended PNP chief, General Rodolfo S. Azurin Jr. and his men specifically those from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) headed by Brigadier Gen. Romeo M. Caramat Jr. and the Armed Forces led by Gen. Andres C. Centino for a job well done in investigating the multiple murder case.

He cited the discovery over the weekend of thousands of ammunition, improvised explosive devices and other bomb paraphernalia inside a compound in Bayawan City in Negros Oriental owned by ex-Gov. Pryde Henry Teves, a brother of suspended Negros Oriental (3rd District) Representative Arnolfo ‘Arnie’ Teves who remained at-large as of press time.

The DILG chief said the PNP-CIDG, the Police Regional Office 7 headed by Brig. Gen. Anthony A. Aberin and the AFP used a backhoe and other heavy equipment to dig for the weapons and explosives deliberately buried underneath the Teves compound.

Pryde Henry was not around during the search but three of his workers were aresred.

Department of Justice spokesperson, Attorney Mico Clavano said that on Sunday, six more individuals tagged in the multiple murder case were subjected to inquest proceedings before the DOJ with the NBI-National Capital Region as complainants.

Clavano said that the DOJ has recommended the filing of information for nine counts of murder, 13 counts of frustrated murder and three counts of attempted murder against the accused.

Azurin bared the weapons and explosives recovered during the series of raids in Negros Oriental will be subjected to forensic and ballistics examination to determine if they could have been used in previous deadly incidents in the province.

Abalos said they wondered why high-powered guns including sniper rifles and thousands of ammunition and IEDs are being stored by the suspected mastermind behind the Degamo slay. “Sinong gagamit niyan? Bakit hinukay ng malalim para itago or for future use. Sniper rifles, bakit ka kukuha ng ganyang baril plus IEDs?,” he asked.

Centino said that by just looking at the volume, the caliber and type of firearms seized in just one place, “we can surmise na it is possible they were used in nefarious activities.”

Azurin said they are looking into the serial numbers of the weapons confiscated. “These firearms should not be in the possession of the subject of the search warrants. Kung licensed gun dealers ang nagbenta, they have to explain why , bakit nabentahan ang mga taong it,” the top cop said.

The PNP chief said Pryde Teves’s gun papers are now subject for investigation by the PNP Firearms and Explosives Office headed by Colonel Paul Kenneth T. Lucas. The PNP-FEO will recommend the revocation of the License to Own and Possess Firearms of Pryde and his co-accused too, Azurin added.