Solon’s ‘hitman’ shot dead in Bayawan City
THE Anti-Terrorist Council has officially designated suspended Negros Oriental (3rd District) Rep. Arnolfo ‘Arnie’ Teves and his armed group as ‘terrorists’ even as agents of the Police Regional Office 7 shot dead a suspected hitman of the lawmaker during a firefight in Bayawan City on Monday.
The ‘terrorist group’ tag was given to Teves and his armed follows by the ATC after a thorough investigation into their alleged activities particularly their involvement in violent incidents that have caused harm to the residents of Negros Oriental, the ATC said in a statement.
“The decision to designate Cong. Teves and his armed group as terrorists were made based on compelling evidence and factual incidents. In the case of the Teves Terrorist Group, the province of Negros Oriental has witnessed a series of killings, threats of bodily harm or injuries and harassment with the intention of intimidating its general populace. These heinous acts have created an atmosphere of fear, severely affecting the personal life and liberty of the residents within the region,” the ATC added.
The suspended lawmaker has been accused of masterminding the March 4, 2023 attack inside the compound of Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo which killed the latter and nine others.
The gunmen armed with automatic rifles were found to be former military personnel and one of them was a former New People’s Army rebel.
The attackers disguised themselves as Armed Forces personnel to gain entry into the Degamo compound before shooting the victims without any provocation. Eighteen other individuals were also wounded during the attack.
On Monday, members of the PRO7 under Brigadier General Anthony A. Aberin gunned down a suspected Teves hitman following a month-long surveillance, casing and intelligence work which ended up in a firefight in Bayawan City.
A team from the PRO7 Regional Intelligence Division and the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office’s Provincial Intelligence Unit under Colonel Ronan Claraval were forced to fire at suspect Alex Manegos Mayagma when he violently resisted the officers about to arrest him in a game farm in Barangay Minaba said to be owned by Teves around 10:55 a.m. Monday.
The suspect was initially disarmed of his rifle by one of the officers but attempted to pull out his other weapon concealed inside his sling bag prompting the lawmen to shoot him. The suspect was declared dead upon arrival in a nearby hospital by an attending physician.
Aberin said the whole operation was captured by the Body-Worn Cameras utilized by the operatives. He said added the slain suspect is the subject of four non-bailable warrants of arrest for murder issued by Judge Maria Myla Rae Santos Orden of the Bayawan City Regional Trial Court on March 30, May 10 and November 17, 2022.
Mayagma was also the subject of two pending warrants of arrest for violation of Republic Act 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulations Act of 2013 and violation of the Omnibus Election Code or the gun ban imposed by the Commission on Elections.
“The neutralization of Mayagma was the result of a tedious intelligence-driven operation. To the people of Negros Oriental, as promised by this government, your PRO 7 will conduct bold and impactful operations against hardened criminals to swiftly serve justice to those victimized by heinous crimes with the assurance that violence and lawlessness will have no place in your beloved province,” Aberin said.
The official said that in-depth investigation is now underway to find out why the slain suspect was present in the area.
The PRO7 director said their operation was also supported by the PNP Special Action Force’s 63rd Special Action Company and the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group
The suspended Negros Oriental representative has been considered a fugitive after the Department of Justice recommended multiple murder and illegal possession of firearms’ charges against him, said DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin C. Remulla Jr.