By Benjamin Pulta

QUEST FOR JUSTICE. Pamplona, Negros Oriental Mayor Janice Degamo meets with Department of Justice Senior Deputy Chief State Prosecutor Richard Fadullon at the DOJ main office in Ermita, Manila on Tuesday (Feb. 27, 2024). Degamo acknowledged the state’s efforts in pursuing the murder charges against the suspects in the March 2023 killing of her husband, Governor Roel Degamo. (PNA photo by Ben Pulta)

MANILA – Mayor Janice Degamo of Pamplona town in Negros Oriental on Tuesday thanked the Department of Justice (DOJ) for its commitment to help solve the assassination case of her husband Governor Roel Degamo.

The mayor met with DOJ officials in Manila ahead of the scheduled pre-trial of the murder charges.

Degamo said the cancellation of the passport of the government’s primary suspect, fugitive former Negros Oriental 3rd Disrict Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr., is proof of the government’s commitment to prosecute those responsible for the attack.

“We are grateful that the DOJ officials took time to explain to us the status of the case and which belied the misinformation being spread by certain parties,” Degamo told the media after a case conference led by Deputy Chief State Prosecutor Richard Anthony Fadullon.

Degamo said among the fake news is that the government is no longer interested in pursuing the cases against Teves and the other co-accused.

In September last year, a Manila court issued a warrant of arrest against Teves and three others for the killing of the governor and nine others on March 4, 2023 inside their residential compound.

Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 51 Judge Merianthe Pacita Zuraek initially set the arraignment on Oct. 4, 2023, following the filing of murder, frustrated murder and attempted murder cases on Aug. 18.

Included in the charge sheet are Angelo Palagtiw; a certain Jie Ann/Gie Ann, allegedly the sister of Palagtiw; and helicopter pilot Capt. Lloyd Garcia II, who reportedly transported the attackers.

A fifth suspect who was included in the charges, Nigel Electona, was the first to be detained.

Eleven other suspects already indicted in July are Winrich Isturis, Joric Labrador, Benjie Rodriguez, Eulogio and John Louie Gonyong, Joven Javier, Dahniel Lora, Romel Pattaguan, Jhudiel Rivero, Rogelio Antipolo Jr., and Marvin Miranda. (PNA)