Remulla says Degamo slay suspects had video call with 'mastermind'
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday said suspects in the brazen daylight killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo had a video conversation with the alleged mastermind.
In an interview, Remulla said the video, the content of which he did not disclose, has a "probative value" in the ongoing investigation.
"Walang motive na sinabi pero 'yung kausap nila was on video," Remulla said. "A live conversation happened on video with the person na tinuturo."
(There was no mention of motive but the person they had a conversaton with was on video. A live conversation happened on video with the person that is supposedly the mastermind.)
"There's a probative value. Alam niyo naman ngayong nag-pandemic, we were all on video, we were all speaking on video," he added.
(There's a probative value. You know during the pandemic we were all on video, we were all speaking on video.)
'End is near'
Noting the preliminary statements given by the arrested suspects, Remulla believes that the "end is near" for the investigation.
"I only have read the preliminary statements that were done and I can say that the end is near," he said. "Malapit na ho itong masarado [this can be wrapped up soon] except for that all the perpetrators that have not been rounded up."
Four suspects are already in police custody while more or less five others are still at large, police earlier said. One suspect was killed in the pursuit operations.
Government prosecutors have filed murder and frustrated murder charges against the four arrested suspects in the killing.
Gunmen killed Degamo and five others on Saturday, March 4, while he was distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental. The death toll climbed to nine the following day as some of those critically wounded in the attack perished.
The Department of Justice previously said it is eyeing placing two of the suspects under witness protection program.
According to Remulla, he saw a statement made by one of the suspects alleging the existence of a mastermind.
"There's a statement already to the effect that there was a mastermind, but we have to evaluate it properly," he said, without giving the details of the statement.
"I cannot confirm any details as of now," he said when asked if the alleged mastermind, as mentioned in the suspect's statement, is in politics.
Lawyers would be appointed to represent the suspects, Remulla also said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos has already ordered the replacement of all police personnel in Negros Oriental following the killing of Degamo. —KBK, GMA Integrated News