The perpetrators behind the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and eight others started their surveillance on the elected official as early as December 2022, the police said Thursday.
In a press briefing, Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) spokesperson Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare said the perpetrators came from different places and were gathered together.
“May mga dumating dito (Some arrived here) as early as December to conduct casing and surveillance to identify what is the particular mode of operation that they are going to launch for the attack to the governor,” Pelare said.
He added some of the perpetrators arrived in Negros Oriental two days or three days before the day of the attack.
According to Pelare, the perpetrators stayed in a safe house.
He said the perpetrators had several options on how to execute the assassination and decided that the best opportunity to launch the attack against Degamo was on March 4.
Pelare said the police are now just gathering some pieces of evidence to ensure an airtight case against the suspects including the mastermind.
“We also have proven that one of the recovered firearms, 'yun po 'yung nakatama, nakapatay kay (shot and killed) Governor Degamo,” he said.
Currently, Pelare said they are looking at 16 suspects in the killing.
Murder and frustrated murder charges have been filed against four suspects identified as Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, Benjie Rodriguez, Osmundo Rojas Rivero, and 12 John Does before the Tanjay City Regional Trial Court.
Charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives were also filed against three individuals before the Bayawan City Regional Trial Court.
According to Pelare, the 16 suspects include 10 direct participants, while the others were facilitators, conspirators, and the mastermind.
Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday claimed that the "end is near" in the Degamo case as they have a video of the alleged mastermind.—Joviland Rita/AOL, GMA Integrated News