MANILA, Philippines – The local police on Saturday, March 4, said they and the military arrested at least three persons during hot pursuit operations about five hours after the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
In a short report, the Bayawan City police station (CPS) said the arrest was made at around 4:20 pm Saturday in Sitio Punong, Barangay Kansumalig; Degamo was declared dead at 11:41 am, according to his wife.
Two of the arrested were former members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. They were identified as:
- Joric Labrador, 50 years old, a former personnel of the Philippine Army and a resident of Cagayan de Oro
- Joven Aber, 42 years old, a former Philippine Army ranger and a resident of La Castellana, Negros Occidental
- Benjie Rodriguez, 45 years old, from Mindanao (police did not give specific details on his address)
“On this time and date, Bayawan CPS…together with Philippine Army and SAF (Special Action Force) conducted hot pursuit operation resulting [in] the apprehension of abovementioned names. Ongoing follow-up hot pursuit operation of other apprehension of the fleeing suspects,” the report read.
The police have yet to release a longer version of the report.
On Saturday, Negros Oriental’s longtime governor was gunned down by armed assailants wearing camouflage uniforms and bulletproof vests and used long firearms. Degamo, 56, was killed just outside his family’s residential compound in Barangay 9, in Pamplona town while attending an event for 4Ps beneficiaries.
Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, the governor’s wife, confirmed that her husband passed away at around 11:41 am. The Philippine National Police said the assailants who “are more or less 10 suspects” escaped to the mountainous area of Barangay Kansumalig – the same village where the three individuals were nabbed.
At least three alleged getaway vehicles were also found abandoned in the village, according to the police.
The country’s top officials, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Vice President Sara Duterte, had condemned the brazen killing. Marcos, in his statement, warned all those involved in the killing that his administration “will not rest” until it attains justice for the slain local official.
The Department of Justice on Saturday also announced that Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla had offered a P5-million reward for those who can give information that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrator and masterminds behind the killing.
Both the police and the National Bureau of Investigation are probing the incident. – Rappler.com
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