DOJ chief: Degamo slay suspects have video of talk with mastermind

JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, that the arrested suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo had a video while having a discussion with the mastermind.

Remulla refused to further state what the video contains, but he said it has a probative value in the ongoing investigation.

“No motive was mentioned but the man they were talking to was captured on video… a live conversation happened on video with the person being pointed to as the mastermind,” Remulla said in a mix of Tagalog and English.

“There’s a statement already to the effect that there was a mastermind, but we have to evaluate it properly,” he added.

In a related development, five of 13 individuals who were injured during the incident made their sworn statements.

Gwen’s visit

Also, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and some of the Provincial Board members are set to visit the wake of Degamo in his residence in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental on Friday, March 10.

Garcia said she wanted to pay her last respects to the late governor, whom she described as a close friend.

Garcia disclosed that since she became governor, Degamo always supported her plans and projects for Cebu.

Nearing probe’s end

With the accounts of the arrested suspects, Remulla said that the investigation is nearing the end.

“The case is closer to being closed, except for all the perpetrators that have not been rounded up,” he said.

Authorities have neutralized five of the gunmen after the shooting of Degamo in his residence in Pamplona town last March 4—four were arrested, while one was killed. More than five suspects were still the subject of a manhunt.

The suspects were transferred to Manila for security purposes. Two of them were considered to be placed under the witness protection program.

They were charged with multiple murder and frustrated murder and illegal possession of firearms and ammunition.

Aside from Degamo, eight others, including civilians, were killed during the incident.


As for the five individuals’ written sworn statements, they were already forwarded to the prosecutor’s office of Negros Oriental last Tuesday, March 7, to support the frustrated murder charges against the suspects that they earlier filed at the Department of Justice on Monday, March 6.

Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) Degamo spokesperson Lt. Col. Gerald Ace Pelare did not reveal the names of the complainants for security reasons.

In a related development, Pelare said the result of the examination of the weapons recovered by the police in a follow-up operation in Bayawan City suggested that one of the firearms belonged to a resident of Negros Oriental.

The police official, however, withheld information regarding the names registered at the Firearms and Explosives Office in Central Visayas.

According to him, some of the bullets that were found in the victims’ bodies matched the weapons used by the suspects and will be used as evidence.

Meanwhile, the SITG Degamo is coordinating with other police units in Central Visayas to see if the man that they arrested in Amlan town on Sunday, March 5, is connected to the governor’s case.

It was also learned that one of the suspects who was killed in a shootout with the police in Bayawan City around 9 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, had not been claimed by his relatives. (TPM, AYB, ANV / TPT)