NEGROS Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. faces strong evidence despite the recantation of suspects involved in the high-profile killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and several others, according to Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla.
“The evidence is solid and compelling,” stated Remulla.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has filed multiple murder complaints against Teves and five others with the Department of Justice, supported by affidavits, statements, and other evidence involving gunmen, lookouts, and individuals who played significant roles in the daytime attack.
Remulla emphasized that there are numerous factual matters to consider in a case that involves more than ten suspects and over 20 victims.
Remulla highlighted that the mass recantation only strengthens the case by demonstrating the existence of a conspiracy among the suspects.
“It further substantiates our claims of a conspiracy,” Remulla remarked.
Recently, Remulla revealed that suspects in Degamo’s killing were allegedly offered P8 million each to retract their statements. Teves’ camp and the suspects’ lawyers have vehemently denied these allegations.
At present, 10 suspects who had previously cooperated with the investigation have submitted affidavits of recantation.
In a mix of Filipino and English, Remulla stated, “Yes, if I’m not mistaken, our initial report indicated that they were offered P8 million each… P8 million each was offered to the suspects to make them change their statements.”
When asked if the suspects had received the money, Remulla responded, “I don’t know if that has happened, but according to the intelligence report, they were offered money.”
Justice Assistant Secretary and spokesperson Atty. Mico Clavano expressed confidence in the DOJ’s strong case against the respondents in Degamo’s killing.
“The department is very confident that we have a solid case. We are very confident that we can get this case closed,” Clavano stated.
Clavano emphasized that the backbone of the complaint lies in presenting facts, including the planning stage and the actual assassination of Degamo, which resulted in the deaths of nine others.
The complaints also outlined the communication trail from the alleged mastermind to the gunmen involved in the heinous act.
Teves has consistently denied any involvement in Degamo’s assassination and has pledged to return to the Philippines once adequate measures are taken to address the threat to his life.