AFP to intensify efforts vs. soldiers used in crimes after Degamo slay

By JOVILAND RITA,GMA Integrated News

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Thursday said it would intensify its efforts to monitor soldiers being used in crimes after some former militray personnel were allegedly involved in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Interviewed on Dobol B TV, AFP spokesperson Colonel Medel Aguilar said Army chief Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner Jr. ordered intensifying counterintelligence efforts to monitor these soldiers.

“We share the same concern. Nag-utos na rin po yung [Army] commanding general na si Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner na palakasin yung counterintelligence,” he said.

(We share the same concern. The Army commanding general Lieutenant General Romeo Brawner ordered to intensify counterintelligence.)

“Para at least yung mga ganitong kaso ay namo-monitor din natin at makagawa tayo ng precautionary measures para hindi nila magamit ang kanilang skill na natutunan sa loob ng military organization sa criminal act like this,” he added.

(So at least we can monitor these cases and create precautionary measures so they cannot use the skills they learned in the military organization in criminal acts like this.)

According to Aguilar, the Army, Navy, and Air Force will now monitor the soldiers who are facing cases or are have gone AWOL (absent without official leave).

Aguilar said arrested suspects in the killing of Degamo are Army personnel facing  different cases like for violation of Article 97 of the Articles of War or conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline as well as illegal drug cases.

Joven Javier was a former sergeant assigned to the Light Reaction Unit of the AFP and trained for counterterrorism, according to Aguilar.


Joric Labrador was a former sergeant who served in the intelligence battalion, Aguilar said.

Benjie Rodriguez was a former corporal and has been assigned to 35th Infantry Battalion, he added.

Degamo and five others were killed while 13 others were injured in the March 4 attack conducted while the governor was distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona town. The death toll increased to nine on Sunday.

Government prosecutors have already filed murder and frustrated murder charges against four suspects in the killing of Degamo before the Tanjay City Regional Trial Court.

The cases were filed against Labrador, Javier, Rodriguez, Osmundo Rojas Rivero, and 12 John Does.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives were filed against three individuals before the Bayawan City Regional Trial Court.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday said the “end is near” in the Degamo case as they have a video of the alleged mastermind. — RSJ, GMA Integrated News