The other day, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered security authorities to create a joint task force to gear up law enforcement operations in Negros in the Visayas, where a provincial executive and eight other civilians were slain 10 days ago.
Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, 56, was shot dead just outside their family residence compound while attending an event for 4Ps beneficiaries, with suspects immediately fleeing the scene aboard two SUVs.
We are heartened by the statement of PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo the joint special task force is nearing the resolution of the case.
“With the pieces of evidence at hand, the special task force believes we are nearing the solution of these cases. We are just fine-tuning and finalizing some of the evidence at hand, including material revelation and pieces of evidence like evidence collected by the Forensic Group of the PNP,” she said.
“The STF is really confident that in the coming days, we can unmask already the people behind this heinous crime,” she added.
Four suspects are now in the custody of law enforcement authorities, while a fifth was killed in what authorities described as an encounter, hours after Degamo was killed.
We also add our voice to the call of House Speaker Martin Romualdez on Rep. Arnolfo ‘Arnie’ Teves Jr., implicated in the brazen killing, to return to the Philippines since his travel clearance to America had expired.
According to Romualdez, Teves should use this opportunity to answer allegations regarding Degamo’s death.
“It’s better for Cong. Arnie to come home so that he can face allegations against his family related to the death of Gov. Roel Degamo,” Romualdez said.
Teves Jr. has denied any involvement in the killing, saying someone is trying to pin the blame on him, adding he had expected he and his brother, Henry Teves, would be implicated in the death of Degamo, their political rival.
We know the authorities are using a fine-tooth comb to resolve the case to help crush the culture of impunity.
It’s not yet clear how strong the shock waves would be if the solon would have his stay overseas extended.
At best, we know two of the suspects revealed they have a video conversation with the person who ordered the killing, but none could say who the person was.
Four arrested suspects in the case and are staying at the National Bureau of Investigation detention center in Manila – Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, Benjie Buladola Rodriguez, and Osmundo Rojas Rivero.
The suspects, from different places outside Negros, including Mindanao, told investigators they had been shadowing Degamo as early as December last year.
They were briefed in a safe house and waited for an “opportune time” to carry out the hit.