Degamo slay a ‘remnant’ case of private armies — Ejercito
MANILA, Philippines — The killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo is a “remnant” case of private armies, Senator JV Ejercito said on Tuesday.
Ejercito, chairperson of the Senate committee on local government, noted that there is “considerable improvement” in dismantling private armies.
“Now, you don’t see that [private armies] anymore, not much, probably very few, but not much anymore,” the senator said on ANC Headstart.
“So, I would say that this incident in Negros Oriental is just one — not isolated — or just very few remnants of people having their own private armies. But, I would say there’s considerable improvement already,” he added.
Ejercito then said that the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) should work together to take apart remaining private armies in the country.
“I’m hoping that with these very few private armies that are left, I’m hoping that with the president’s instruction, I hope that the PNP [and] the AFP would join hands already in dismantling all of these private armies,” he said.
The AFP and the PNP, Ejercito said, should also monitor discharged members to know their whereabouts and if they are being tapped in killing schemes and the like.
Four suspects of the Degamo slay case are former Army members.
Asked if he believes that the scheme has shifted from hiring private armies to gun-for-hire syndicates, Ejercito replied “yes.”
“That’s why the police really has to step up on this gun-for-hire [crackdown],” the senator said.
On March 4, Degamo and eight other individuals were assassinated in his residence in Pamplona town in the province.