DOJ chief names alleged Degamo slay mastermind held by NBI

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 03 2023 11:51 AM | Updated as of Apr 03 2023 05:29 PM

DOJ secretary Boying Remulla and Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/Governor Roel Ragay Degamo Facebook page
DOJ secretary Boying Remulla and Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News/Governor Roel Ragay Degamo Facebook page

MANILA (UPDATED) — Justice Secretary Boying Remulla disclosed on Monday the identity of one of the alleged masterminds in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

Asked by reporters to confirm the name “Marvin Miranda,” Remulla said “yes,” adding Miranda’s middle name was “Halaman.”

Remulla said Miranda, a military reservist, has a "very strong connection" to Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr., whom he said, appears to be the “main mastermind” in the Degamo slay.

“Kung sa sine, Cong. Teves is the executive producer and producer and he is the director and casting director,” he said.

The embattled congressman's camp, however, declined to comment on Remulla's latest pronouncements.

"We will just await the filing of whatever charges may be made, and say our piece in the proper forum. Again, we emphasize that the bar of public opinion is not the right venue to determine the guilt or innocence of anyone," Teves' legal counsel Ferdinand Topacio said.

Topacio also accused the DOJ and other government agencies of "violating basic Constitutional rights" of the personalities they have under custody over the Degamo murder case.

He said these individuals had been allegedly "moved around the country against their will, being denied the right to counsel, and subjected to improper pressure and influence to make them testify falsely against Cong. Teves."

"These acts evince not just the weakness of the government's case, but an illegal scheme to manipulate the evidence to unfoundedly incriminate a person," Topacio added.

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Remulla names alleged Degamo slay mastermind held by NBI

It was Remulla who announced Friday that a “main player,” whom he considered to be one of the masterminds, had been arrested by the NBI.

Remulla confirmed he was referring to Miranda, disclosing that authorities have been looking for Miranda since March 4, when Degamo was killed.

"Siya yung kausap lagi na kumuha ng tao, kumuha ng armas...Pati yung magrerecruit ng tao,” the justice chief said.

(He was the one who always talked to the people, sourced the weapons, and recruited people.)

Miranda is scheduled to undergo inquest later Monday.

Remulla's announcement came ahead of a 12 noon press conference in Camp Crame where authorities were supposed to name Marvin Miranda as a mastermind in the Degamo slay.

The Justice secretary said Miranda is represented by the Public Attorney’s Office and not by a lawyer claiming to be his counsel.

Former Justice undersecretary Reynante Orceo earlier claimed he was representing Miranda but was not allowed by the NBI to see his client. Justice Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano, DOJ spokesperson, said over the weekend that those being held denied engaging Orceo's services.

In July 2020, Degamo himself tagged Miranda among those involved in an alleged assassination plot against him after the latter was arrested in a police operation at Caticlan Jetty Port in Malay, Aklan. 

Several high-powered firearms, hundreds of live ammunition rounds, and 2 other suspects were also seized in the said operation.

Meanwhile, Teves has yet to return to the Philippines even after he was suspended for 60 days by the House of Representatives due to his continued absence from work, despite the expiration of his travel authority on March 9.

The lawmaker's camp cited threats to his safety and security as reasons for his reluctance to come home.

But President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., citing intelligence reports, earlier said there were no threats to Teves’ life, and urged him to come home and face the charges against him.

Aside from being implicated in the Degamo killing, Rep. Teves is also facing murder charges over the 2019 killing of former Negros Oriental Board Member Miguel Dungog, as well as complaints of illegal possession of firearms.


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