The authorities are closing in on the mastermind of the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo and they have strong evidence against the person, Interior, and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos said on Friday.
Asked for his reaction to Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr.'s remark that Degamo's slaying was part of "a script" to pin him down, Abalos said it was up to the congressman what to think.
“Ngayon, Mr. Teves hinahanap namin ang mastermind. 'Yun lang ang masasabi ko. Kung anong iniisip mo at itong sinasabi mo about you, it's up to you. Basta mahahanap namin ang mastermind. The things way are, malakas ang ebidensya namin,” Abalos said on the sidelines of the launch of the Philippines’ Multi-Sectoral Actions to End Tuberculosis.
(Now, Mr. Teves, we are looking for the mastermind. That's all I can say. What you think and what you say about you. It's up to you. As long as we can find the mastermind. The way things are, our evidence is strong.)
Asked about authorities' action in case Teves still refused to return, Abalos said there is a law that must be followed.
“May batas tayo ukol rito. Like sa House of Representatives. Meron silang batas ukol rito. Tayo din naman may batas na sinusunod dito. Isa lang maaasure ko. Sunsundin natin ito nang ayon sa batas,” Abalos said.
(We have a law about it. Like the House of Representatives. They have a law about it. We also have a law to follow here. I can only guarantee one. We will follow it according to the law.)
Abalos said he could no longer understand Teves' allegations.
He said anyone who did something wrong should be held liable.
“Ang daming nang sinasabi ni Mr. Teves kung ano-ano na. Minsan, itong sinasabi niya siya lang ang nakakaintindi. Ako hindi ko na siya naiintindihan,” Abalos said
(He was saying a lot. Sometimes, he is the only one who understands what he says. I don't understand him anymore.)
“Basta simple lang. Gumawa ka ng kalokohan talagang dapat kang managot at kung ikay ay pumatay ngh tao. Dapat kang managot,” he added.
(Just as simple as that. You did something stupid and you should be held accountable if you killed someone. You must be responsible.)
Abalos echoed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.'s earlier pronouncement that Teves would be secured if he returned home.
“Ngayon about these mga death threats na ito we will also assure kamukha ng sinabi ng ating Mr. Presidente, huwag kang matakot umuwi ka lahat ng security ibibigay natin sayo, lahat ng kailangan ibibigay natin sayo, walang problema,” Abalos said.
(Now about these death threats we will also assure you just like what our Mr. President said, don't be afraid, go home, we will give you all the security, we will give you everything you need, no problem.)