DNA test links suspects to Degamo murder

June 13, 2023 Hector Lawas 194 views

THE investigation into Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo’s assassination took a significant step forward as a recent DNA examination authenticated the presence of blood stains inside one of the vehicles used during the crime.

The same DNA was found in the late official’s compound.

The four suspects associated with these samples are under government custody.

Atty. Levi Baligod, the private counsel for Pamplona town Mayor Janice Degamo and other individuals, disclosed the identities of the suspects whose DNA samples corresponded to the evidence.

They are Winrich Esturis, Eugelio Gonyon, and Osmundo Rivero. Later, he included suspect Rogelio Antipolo.

“Our investigators collected specimens from the vehicles used by the shooters, as well as the blood stains left at Gov. Degamo’s compound, and subjected them to DNA analysis. The only exception would be if they had identical twins. However, since they do not have twins, the samples belong to Esturis, Gonyon, and Osmundo Rivero,” explained Baligod in Filipino.

With the DNA analysis results conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Baligod expressed confidence in the sufficiency of evidence for the prosecution, even in the face of recantation affidavits submitted by the suspects.

“Even if these shooters recant, as we have stated before, we can still successfully pursue the cases,” affirmed Baligod.

Emotional confrontation

Mrs. Degamo and relatives of the other victims of the March 4 bloodbath, experienced a surge of emotions as they came face to face with the suspects during the preliminary investigation held at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to Atty. Levi Baligod, there were immediate tears shed when they saw the shooters.

Mrs. Degamo’s emotions quickly overwhelmed her, prompting her to step out of the proceedings to avoid disrupting them.

Baligod shared this information with reporters.

Meanwhile, Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr.’s legal representative was notably absent during the preliminary investigation conducted by the DOJ on Tuesday regarding the highly publicized murder of Degamo.

Teves, who is currently under suspension by the House of Representatives, remains abroad.

Baligod offered a theory that the respondents’ camps might argue their non-appearance based on their alleged failure to receive the summonses issued by the panel of prosecutors handling the multiple murder complaints.

“However, based on the panel of prosecutors’ representation, they sent a subpoena to the last known address, the registered address in Negros, and also to Cong. Teves’ office in Congress. But despite that, they did not appear,” Baligod explained.

Nevertheless, Baligod noted that representatives from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) were present during Tuesday’s proceedings, serving as the counsel for the ten suspects currently in government custody.

The lawyers who assisted them in their recantation were absent, as they are considered part of the preliminary investigation and were also issued subpoenas.

“Only PAO lawyers are present here. The lawyers who assisted them in their recantation are not here because they are part of the preliminary investigation. They were also sent subpoenas,” Baligod stated.