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4 arrested suspects in Degamo slay transferred to Crame —PNP spox

The four arrested suspects in the March 4 killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo have been transferred to Camp Crame, a police official said Tuesday.

In a press briefing, Police Colonel Jean Fajardo, spokesperson for the Philippine National Police (PNP), said the four are now detained at the PNP Custodial Center.

"'Yung apat po, 'yung mga arrested suspects, ay nilipat na sa kustodiya dito sa PNP Custodial Center habang ongoing 'yung investigation for their own protection," she said.

(The four arrested suspects have been transferred to the PNP Custodial Center while the investigation is ongoing for their own safety.)

Fajardo said the PNP leadership decided to transfer the four to Camp Crame on Monday after the inquest proceedings.

Two of the suspects have executed extrajudicial confession and are being considered for the government's witness protection program (WPP), she added.

"Two po sa suspects ang nag-execute ng extrajudicial confessions at tinutulungan po tayo ngayon ng Department of Justice para ayusin po at masiguro na yung kanilang karapatang pantao ay hindi malabag," Fajardo said.

(Two of the suspects have executed extrajudicial confessions and we are being assisted by the Department of Justice to ensure that their rights are not violated.)

Degamo and five others were shot dead while he was distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona town. The hours were arrested hours later.

Fajardo said the four, who were likely hired guns, were arrested immediately as they fled on foot and were not familiar with the area. 

"Lumalabas na kaya madaling natunton itong mga suspek ay hindi sila pamilyar sa lugar at nagtanong-tanong sila doon sa lugar, naligaw sila, nagtanong kung saan yung Bayawan City na maaari sigurong gagamitin nilang escape route," she said.  

(Apparently, they were arrested immediately because they were not familiar with the area and they asked for directions. They got lost. They how to get to Bayawan City which was probably their escape route.)

Illegal firearms

Fajardo also said that based on the report from the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO), the firearms seized from the suspects were either unregistered or have expired licenses.

"'Yung iba po diyan, walang records po sa ating FEO at 'yung iba ay wala pong serial numbers. Yung iba naman po ay may lisensya subalit expired na po," she said, noting that the fire arms were possibly smuggled since it contains no record.

(Some of the firearms had no record with FEO while some have no serial numbers. Others have licenses but they are expired.)

"Inaalam natin paano nakalusot at napasakamay nitong mga suspects itong mga high-powered firearms na ito," she added.

(We are trying to figure out how the suspects get hold of these high-powered firearms.)

Fajardo said the PNP has also determined the owner of the vehicle used to transport the suspects to the area.

"We will proceed to where the evidence will point us, regardless kung sino po yung matutumbok, o kahit sino pa siya ano pang estado niya sa buhay, maging civilian o elected," Fajardo said.

(We will proceed to where the evidence will point us, regardless of who the person is, whether civilian or elected official.) 

Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, the governor's widow, said he suffered eleven gunshot wounds in the attack.

The one which hit the heart is said to be the most fatal.

The ballistic examination indicated that the bullets found at the crime scene matched the guns recovered in Bayawan City.

The blood stains on the getaway vehicles registered in Cebu, will also be subjected to scientific examination. —KBK/NB, GMA Integrated News