Lawyer: Degamo slay investigators looking into ‘criminal syndicate’

THE probe on the assassination of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo is focused not only on one mastermind, but also on a crime syndicate that is involved in illegal gambling operations and drug trafficking, said a member of the legal team representing Degamo’s family.

Lawyer Gerardo “Gerry” Carillo said on MyTV’s Open Line News Forum on Tuesday, March 14, 2023, that they are currently analyzing testimonies of the arrested individuals who were part of the assassination team who killed the governor and eight others inside his residence in Pamplona town last March 4.

Carillo said the Department of Justice is evaluating the four arrested suspects—Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, Benjie Buladola Rodriguez and Osmundo Rojas Rivero—if one of them can become a state witness.

The Special Investigation Task Group Degamo had earlier stated that the suspects named Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr. as the mastermind in the killing of Degamo. Before he was named, Teves had gone on Facebook Live to deny any involvement in the late governor’s assassination.

According to Carillo, the Degamo family was also happy as both the Senate and the House of Representatives will call a congressional hearing and investigate the rampant incidents of killing of political and prominent individuals in Negros Oriental. These victims were mostly supporters of the Degamos, he said.

Carillo said that since January, Degamo had already received numerous death threats. The threats were part of the reason Degamo had an office in his Pamplona residence aside from the one in the Capitol.

Carillo was also a member of Degamo’s legal team that challenged the 2022 election results in Negros Oriental from the Commission on Elections all the way up to the Supreme Court.

The legal team sealed Degamo’s win in the gubernatorial race, forcing then governor Pryde Henry Teves, Arnie’s brother, to relinquish his post. (EHP)