DOJ mulls placing suspects in Degamo slay under international lookout

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2023 03:59 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2023 04:52 PM

MANILA — The Department of Justice (DOJ) is eyeing to place the suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo under international lookout bulletin to have “further precautions” in his case, its spokesperson said Saturday. 

DOJ Spokesperson Mico Clavano said Negros Oriental Rep. Arnie Teves, Jr. is still considered one of those behind the slay of the local official. The national police, meanwhile, said there are still 5 suspects and 12 John Does in the case. 

They plan to place these suspects under the lookout bulletin next week, according to Clavano.

“So all those that are in relation to the Degamo slay, we have taken concrete steps na maglabas po ng international lookout bulletin, pinagpag-usapan po natin ang paglagay ng mga tao sa blue list, sa Interpol ‘no – Blue Notice,” Clavano said during a media briefing in Quezon City. 

A Blue Notice under the Interpol allows Philippine authorities to place the suspects under monitoring and collect information on their whereabouts and activities when they travel abroad. 

“Although dahil po ilalagay na sila sa international lookout bulletin, mayroon po tayong records kung saan sila pumunta, anong petsa po sila umalis – iyon po ‘yung mga relevant data na makukuha natin dahil ilalagay po natin sila sa lookout bulletin,” he added. 

“Just so that we are aware doon sa movements ng ating mga respondents who may very well be involved in the Degamo slay and may be vital sa ating investigation,” he said. 

Teves has yet to return from an overseas trip. 

He earlier asked House Speaker Martin Romualdez for a two-month leave of absence from the House of Representatives beginning March 9, citing a security threat to his life.

While they may be calls to have the lawmaker deported to the Philippines, Clavano said the DOJ is not yet keen to go to that. 

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“We want to exhaust lahat ng mga remedy natin not to go to that route na mag-request ng deportation. As of right now, siguro, nananawagan is Speaker Romualdez and Sec. Remulla na umuwi na lang siya on his own volition,” he said. 

Criminal complaints have been filed against Teves and 6 others who were arrested during a series of raids that yielded several firearms and explosives from his houses last week, according to police.

One complaint has so far been junked related to illegal possession of firearms after it was found out that one batch of guns and grenades seized during a raid in his property in Negros Oriental do not belong to him.