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More Degamo suspects vow to cooperate
Six suspects implicated in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo expressed their willingness to cooperate with authorities, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said yesterday.
However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) still needs to evaluate their statements and level of involvement in the killing to determine their eligibility as state witnesses.
Remulla told reporters that it is challenging to determine if the suspects will be placed under the Witness Protection Program as the DOJ is still gathering the full story.
He also assured that the government will protect the families of the suspects, who are crucial in the ongoing case.
The six suspects identified as Rogelio C Antipolo Jr. alias “Jun Jun,” Rommel A. Pattaguan, Winrich B. Isturis alias “Gwen,” John Louie L. Gonyon alias “JL,” Dahniel P. Lora alias “Buboy,” and Eulogio L. Gonyon Jr. alias “Master Black” were brought for inquest by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the suspects had direct involvement in the March 4 incident and have provided testimonies voluntarily that will aid the investigating task force in building a strong case against the culprits, intermediaries, and the mastermind.
Remulla recently revealed that the majority of the “attack team” responsible for the killing of Degamo and eight civilians are now in government custody.
One of the suspects who surrendered has corroborated the statements made by two others, who identified Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves Jr. as the alleged mastermind in the killing.
IEDs SIMILAR TO THOSE BEING USED BY NPA UNEARTHED IN TEVES’ COMPOUND
Philippine National Police agents searching for more weapons believed hidden in properties owned by the Teves brothers in Negros Oriental on Saturday unearthed several powerful improvised explosive device in a compound owned by former Gov. Pryde Henry Teves, the Journal Group learned.
Officers from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group used a backhoe to underneath the compound, where a powerful IED, rifle-propelled grenades and several rounds of various live ammunition were recovered.
A tip from an informant prompted the officers to dig a hole in the spot where the IEDs and other pieces of evidence were recovered.
Officials involved in the search said the IEDs recovered inside the HDJ Bayawan Agri-Ventures Corp., HDJ-Tolong Compound in Bgy Caranoche in Sta. Catalina municipality owned by Pryde Teves appears to be similar with those used by New People’s Army and other lawless terrorist groups in Mindanao to bomb targets, including government convoys and other establishments.
Workers of the agri-ventures corporation, local barangay officials and Pryde’s legal counsel, lawyer James Miraflor were present during the recovery operation conducted by members of the PNP-CIDG, the PP Special Action Force, the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office and the Sta. Catalina Municipal Police Station.
Caramat said that the area subjected to excavation is near the back portion of a firing range owned by Teves. The search resulted in the recovery of an RPG ammunition without markings and serial number, one cal. .45 pistol’s upper and lower receiver, three IEDs, black powder, assorted live ammunition, assorted spent cartridges and slugs, and various components for the manufacture of IEDs. Hector Lawas and Alfred Dalizon