Roel Degamo

Judge OKs arrest of Degamo slay suspect

Ryan Macasero

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Judge OKs arrest of Degamo slay suspect

SUSPECTS. Agents of the National Bureau of Investigation escort suspects in the killing of former Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo.


A Manila court says Joven Javier’s arrest is legal, and denies his request to remain in NBI custody. He will be moved to the Manila City Jail.

MANILA, Philippines – A Manila judge determined that the arrest of Joven Javier – a suspect in the assassination of then-Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo and nine others –was legal, according to a ruling released to the media on Monday, July 10.

“In the case at bar, it appears that the petitioner is deprived of liberty under a warrant of commitment in pursuance of law, the return is thus considered prima facie evidence of the cause of restraint,” Manila Regional Trial Court Janice Yulo-Antero wrote in her ruling dated Wednesday, July 5, denying Javier’s petition for a writ of habeas corpus.

“Accordingly, it appearing that the cause of the deprivation of liberty of the petitioner Joven Calibjo Javier is lawful, this Court is constrained to dismiss the instant petition [of habeas corpus] and recommit the petitioner to the Manila City Jail,” the ruling said.

In a statement, the Department of Justice (DOJ) welcomed the court’s decision.

“The Department of Justice welcomes the decision of the Court in the petition of Habeas Corpus. The decision states in very simple terms that there was no basis to file the petition in the first place. The judiciary is now aware of the dilatory and diversionary tactics of lawyers that seek to further the conspiracy behind the Pamplona Massacre,” the DOJ said in a press statement.

Currently, 11 of the suspected gunmen are in custody of the authorities.

Ten of them have retracted their initial confessions and filed affidavits reaffirming their recantations on July 3. They currently face murder, multiple murder, and frustrated murder complaints.

Despite the retraction of confessions, the DOJ believes their case is still strong. On June 13, the National Bureau of Investigation claimed to have DNA evidence that allegedly placed the suspects at the scene of the crime. (READ: DNA from crime scene matches samples from 4 Degamo slay suspects)

The government also filed multiple murder complaints against Teves and five other suspects in a separate complaint, although it’s unclear what their role was in the March 4 massacre in Pamplona town, Negros Oriental.

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NBI files murder complaints vs Arnie Teves over Degamo slay

The DOJ has accused the lawyers of Teves and the suspected gunmen of using “dilatory tactics” to delay the arraignment of the suspects, while the alleged mastermind in the massacre, Negros Oriental Congressman Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr., has accused the DOJ of bias and unfair treatment.

Teves previously filed a motion of inhibition against DOJ prosecutors, which they denied.

The alleged gunmen in the attack are scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday, July 19.

Read the full decision here:


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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at