Degamo assailants managed to slip through Negros lockdown – Remulla
MANILA, Philippines — Despite government authorities’ efforts to block all exit points in Negros Oriental when Gov. Roel Degamo was killed, several individuals involved in the attack managed to escape the province and move to Mindanao.
To date, authorities have already arrested four suspects; the fifth died in a firefight with the police, while five others have surrendered.
Of the 10, nine had direct participation in the attack that killed Degamo and nine others and injured more than 15. The 10th suspect was at the rest house where the assailants went to hide.
Degamo was attacked on March 4. The police and military immediately launched a hot pursuit operation leading to the arrest of four and the death of one. All exit points at all ports have been sealed to make sure that no one could leave the province.
But Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said some of the assailants were able to escape.
“The last four suspects [referring to the four who recently surrendered] were able to escape, get out of the crime scene and go back to their headquarters in their own way. There’s a story about how it happened,” Remulla, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino, told reporters Wednesday.
From the headquarters, Remulla said, “they moved to another place in Mindanao from Negros, and then they moved to another place.”
While Remulla said authorities were already at around 88 to 90 percent of their investigation, there were still loose ends that would need to be tied up.
“We are trying to find the details on all these — how they were transported, who helped them, who they talked to. There are still many things that we need to know,” he said.
“The 10 percent can be the hardest.”
Remulla brushed off allegations from the camp of Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. that authorities were trying to pin him down for the Degamo killing.
But the DOJ chief pointed out that they never mentioned any mastermind.
“About the mastermind, it will come when it’s there, once everything is clear,” he said.
10 suspects in Degamo killing now under police custody, says DILG chief
PNP: Gov’t pressing Teves to return, face charges
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