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Remulla: 3-4 people likely behind Degamo killing

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said on Thursday that three to four people may be behind the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

“Conspiracy 'yan pero may mastermind yan. Ang tingin namin hanggang tatlo, apat yan, nagkaisa na magplano at kumuha na lang sila ng ibang tao para sumapi,” Remulla said in an ambush interview following a visit to Malacañang.
(That is a conspiracy, but there is a mastermind. There may be three or four people who made the plan and hired others.)
“At yan po yung ating pinag-aaralan ngayon. At yan po ay lalabas sa mga statement na ilalabas ng mga tao,” he added.

(That is what we are studying right now. And that will be included in the statements of the people.)
He said the masterminds may not necessarily be “big names.”

Degamo and five others were shot dead in broad daylight while he was distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on March 4. Several others were critically wounded in the attack, and the following day the death toll had climbed to nine.

According to John Consulta's report on 24 Oras, suspects have named a certain “Cong. Teves” as the mastermind in the killing of Degamo.
Remulla, however, said he had no information about it yet.
“Hindi ko ho alam pa yan. Hindi pa ho nababalita sa akin. Eh, kailangan ko ho mabasa yung mga statement, kasi yan po ang gagamitin naming basehan sa pag fa-file ng kaso," he said.
(I don’t know about that yet. I haven’t been informed. I need to read the statements because that is what we will use in filing the charges.)
When asked previously to confirm whether Teves is the subject of an official investigation, the Justice secretary said, "Well, we're investigating everybody who may have something to do with what has been happening in Negros Oriental. Bar none. We are not exempting anybody."

A document from the Office of House Secretary General Reginald Velasco showed that Teves was given permission to go to the US for a personal trip from February 28 to March 9.

“At ang isa pang alam ko kasi, hanggang ngayon na lang ang pagpalugit na ibinigay ng Kongreso na umuwi si Congressman Teves mula sa Amerika at hindi siya binigyan ng extension,” Remulla said.

(Congressman Teves must return today from the US since he was not given an extension by the House of Representatives.) 
“Kaya inaasahan namin na uuwi na siya. Kung talagang haharap siya sa kanyang, sa ganitong mga usapin na siya’y tinuturo na maaring kasabwat sa mga nangyaring karumaldumal sa Negros,” he added.
(That’s why we are expecting him to return, and whether he will really face the allegations that he was involved in the gruesome incidents in Negros.)
Teves has denied involvement in the killing of Degamo.

In a statement, Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, Teves’ lead counsel, called on the public to "observe sobriety" in their pronouncements regarding the allegations against the lawmaker.

“The killing has already been denounced strongly by Rep. Teves, who has denied involvement therein. It will not serve the ends of justice [in any way] by publicly obfuscating the issues prematurely before a thorough investigation in accordance with procedures provided for by law," Topacio said.

“We shall face any and all accusations consistent with the courses outlined in the legal system, confident that, in the end, our client will be exonerated,” he added. — VBL, GMA Integrated News