Remulla to attend Senate hearing on Degamo slay

By SUNDY LOCUS,GMA Integrated News

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Friday said he will attend the Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee's probe into the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Monday, April 17.

Remulla, however, said he already informed the Senate that there are "certain matters" that he cannot discuss at the hearing as it may affect the investigation of the case.

“We will hesitate to discuss because we believe that law enforcement has the prerogative to keep within itself the information that is needed to solve case,” Remulla said.

“Prior to the resolution, we have to keep it as a tightly guarded matter that cannot be disclosed… There are matters that we cannot disclose yet without prejudicing the case,” he added.

Among those expected to attend Monday's probe is suspended Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr. who will appear via teleconference.

Remulla last week said Teves appears to be the main mastermind in the killing of Degamo.

The solon has denied the allegations but has yet to return to the Philippines due to security concerns.

Meanwhile, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, wife of the slain governor, sent a letter to Senate public order and dangerous drugs committee chair Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa, expressing her disappointment


over the senators’ decision to allow Teves to virtually attend the legislative inquiry.

Teves’ camp, meanwhile, is hoping that the suspended lawmaker will still be allowed to attend.

“Sana payagan kasi legislative inquiry ‘yan di ba? Anong klaseng inquiry ‘yun kung isang panig lang madirinig. Anong inputs makukuha nila from the other side,” Atty. Ferdinand Topacio, legal counsel of Teves, said.

(I hope they would allow it because it was a legislative inquiry, right? What kind of inquiry would that be if they would only listen to one side?)

Topacio also said they would submit the lawmaker’s position paper to the Senate on Saturday.

“Kaya nanawagan kami kay Sen. Bato na payagan. Siya ang nakakaabot niyan, siya ang committee chairman... I think he should insist on that para balanse,” he said.

(We’re appealing to Sen. Bato to allow it…He can do that because he is the chair… I think he should insist on it to have a balance.)

“Nasa sa kanila na ang desisyon… Kasi nung una sinabi e papayag naman daw. If they do not want to hear the other side, kung gusto nila maging "echo chamber" ‘yung hearing na walang pagtutunguhan it’s all up to the senators,” he added.

(It’s up to them… First, they allowed it. If they do not want to hear the other side and become an "echo chamber", it's up to them.)

Remulla, for his part, expressed doubt that it would be allowed. 

“I doubt that will happen,” he said.

“There are matters that would not be possible, that would not be palatable to a body like the Senate or the House for people to appear and they cannot be held in contempt or they cannot speak under oath,” added Remulla. —VAL, GMA Integrated News