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Remaining suspects in Degamo slay still in Negros —police

The remaining suspects in the March 4 killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo are still in the Negros island region, police said Tuesday.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare said aside from the three arrested and one killed, joint police and military elements are still looking for "more or less" five others suspects.

"Lahat ng entry and exit points dito sa [all the exit and entry points here in] Negros are being guarded because we believe that as of now they (suspects) are still in Negros island. They were not able to get out," said Pelare, spokesperson for the Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) conducting the investigation.

Pelare noted that the three suspects were arrested five hours after the incident on Saturday morning.

Degamo and five others were shot dead while he was distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona town. On Sunday authorities said the death toll as climbed to nine.

Thirteen others were hurt in the attack, police said.

According to Pelare, probers are looking into all possible angles in the killing, including intense political rivalry.

"Since the start of the investigation, politics or intense political rivalry has always been one of our considerations," he said.

He added that they were able to get "substantial information" from the arrested suspects, which included former soldiers who were dishonorably discharged from service.

"During their custodial debriefing, the investigators, may mga nakuha po na substantial information that could lead to the resolution of this case," Pelare said.

(During the custodial debriefing of the suspects, the investigators were able to obtain substantial information that could lead to the resolution of this case.)

Pelare added the suspects also mentioned names and that the investigators are looking into them.

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has described the killing of Degamo "unacceptable and terrifying," and vowed that it will not go unpunished. —KBK, GMA Integrated News