Looks like the wheels of justice are grinding well on schedule in the March 4 killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and eight others, after a fifth suspect has surrendered to military authorities.
We are told the surrenderer, a former soldier discharged from service in 2016 due to his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, gave himself up and bore witness to the statements of four other arrested suspects, now detained, implicating still abroad Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. in the crime.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Tuesday said four more suspects, whom he considered as “major players” in the killing of Degamo, have surrendered to the Philippine military.
Degamo unseated Teves’ brother, Pryde Henry Teves, as provincial governor after the Commission on Elections last September annulled Pryde Henry’s proclamation as the winner in the May 9, 2022, elections.
This, after the Comelec credited the votes obtained by a nuisance candidate in Degamo’s favor. The Supreme Court affirmed the Comelec ruling last February.
The suspects earlier arrested by authorities identified a certain “Cong Teves” as the mastermind behind the Degamo et al. slays.
Rep. Teves, whose request for a two-month extension of his stay abroad was denied by House Speaker Martin Romualdez who advised him to come home instead, has denied involvement in the offbeat killing.
One of the suspects surrendered to the Armed Forces of the Philippines last Friday and has since been turned over to the National Bureau of Investigation, according to AFP chief of staff Gen. Andres Centino.
Secretary Remulla said the latest suspect was a “direct participant” in the killings but restricted himself to saying, replying to questions, they were still verifying all statements.
But Remulla admitted the latest suspect “has very critical information (since) he is one of the main players in what happened. His statements corroborate the previous statements given to us and he knows the other people involved so he knows the extent of the network.”
He said based on the suspect’s claims, eight more people were involved in the killing aside from the four other suspects who are in NBI custody.
At the same time, police announced a rifle confiscated from one of the suspects in the killings has been confirmed to be one of weapons used during the massacre
PNP Spokesperson Jean Fajardo confirmed the assault weapon based on the ballistic and cross-matching, stressing that Degamo had 11 shots and one of them came from the rifles recovered.
We heard Fajardo, loud and clear, say that based on testimonies and forensic evidence, a solution to the case was coming soon.
We have high hopes this will indeed be resolved soon to check the culture of criminality in different parts of the country.
We remember Sun Tzu, the Chinese military general and strategist in the Eastern Zhou period, who said the “wheels of justice grind slow but grind fine.”