DOJ panel of prosecutors rejects motion to inhibit in Degamo case | Inquirer News

DOJ panel of prosecutors rejects motion to inhibit in Degamo case

Department of Justice to continue handling investigation
/ 05:20 PM June 27, 2023

MANILA, Philippines — A Department of Justice (DOJ) panel of prosecutors denied the motion of suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr. to inhibit from handling the case in connection with the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Teves’ camp said it is no longer proper for the DOJ to handle the preliminary investigation as its head, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla, already prejudged the case with his statements identifying Teves as the mastermind.


READ: Teves wants DOJ prosecutors to inhibit from Degamo murder case


The lawmakers’ camp prefers the Ombudsman to handle the investigation.

But DOJ assistant secretary and spokesperson Jose Dominic Clavano said, “The Ombudsman is not the main [body] where murder cases, especially of this nature where ten were killed,” adding that it is best that the DOJ handles the case “because we have prosecutors of the highest caliber who are able and very willing to try these cases.”

“So, the jurisdiction is clearly here in the DOJ,” Clavano said.

He added that the prosecutors, in refusing to inhibit, said that “they are instructed by the Rules of Court to afford due process to the respondents, and in fact, the panel of prosecutors has given every right to the respondents to respond via their counter-affidavits.”

Also, Clavano added that the camp of Teves and the gunmen were asked if they had doubts as to the impartiality of the panel of prosecutors. “Ang sagot ng kampo nila (Their camps’ reply) was that they had no doubt as to the independence of the panel of prosecutors,” he said.

“So, from that alone, you can already see that there is a different play going on here. If there is no doubt as to the independence of the panel of prosecutors, then why still venture to ask the case be transferred to the Ombudsman,” he asked.


Atty. Andres Manuel said they asked the panel of prosecutors to put the denial in writing so that they could take the appropriate action.

For Pamplona mayor Janice Degamo, the widow of Gov. Degamo, it was only proper for the panel of prosecutors to deny the motion to inhibit.

“They know what they are doing. Pinag-aralan nila ‘yan kung ano magiging outcome ng kanilang hinahawakan at binabasa na documents coming from all parties,” Degamo said.

(They are studying the outcome of the case they’re handling and reading the documents coming from all parties.)

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The next hearings will be held on Monday, July 3, and Monday, July 17.

READ: DOJ Sec. Remulla on Degamo killing: ‘Case closed’

TAGS: Arnolfo Teves Jr., Degamo, DoJ, Pamplona massacre, Teves

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