CEBU — The Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) on Saturday announced the arrest of 3 suspects in the slay of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.
PRO-7 spokesperson Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare said the suspects were pinned down in a hot pursuit operation at Sitio Punong, Barangay Cansumalig, Bayawan City, where 3 of their getaway vehicles were also found abandoned.
Their arrest came just hours after the armed attack at Degamo’s private compound in Barangay San Isidro, Pamplona town Saturday morning, where the governor and 5 others were killed.
Police said they were in a joint operation with the Philippine Army and the Special Action Force.
They also recovered a .45 caliber pistol, a magazine loaded with live ammunitions and their identification cards.
“The pursuit operation is still ongoing with the remaining suspects being pursued by joint elements of PRO-7 and Philippine Army,” said Pelare.
Pelare said authorities were also coordinating with all hospitals to finalize the names of the victims and their respective status.
Degamo’s wife Janice, who is also mayor of Pamplona town, earlier called on national officials to expedite justice for the governor’s murder.
"Governor Degamo did not deserve that kind of death... As the family of Roel, we hope that the national government will be serious in searching for justice for my husband. Give the governor the justice he deserves," she said.
Two other local officials were injured in the armed attack: Provincial Health Officer Liland Estacion and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Officer Marlo Quilnet.
Meanwhile, the Diocese of Dumaguete, through Bishop Julito Cortes also released a statement condemning the incident.
“How can we ever attain lasting peace if this culture of violence continues to torment us? When will this cycle of killings ever stop? We pray, then, that the perpetrators behind this bloodshed be brought to justice soon,” the prelate said.
—Report from Annie Perez
ANC, ANC promo, Roel Degamo, Police Regional Office, Negros Oriental, regions, regional news