By Benjamin Pulta
MANILA – Weapons and other contrabands seized in Negros Oriental over the weekend corroborated the information by witnesses on the murder of Gov. Roel Degamo.
Ten men already under government custody said they were billeted in a facility that was near the area raided by Criminal Investigation and Detection Group operatives, a sugar mill compound in Sta. Catalina town reportedly owned by former governor Pryde Henry Teves.
“The IEDs (improvised explosive devices) that were found [during the service of arrest warrants] were consistent with the statements made [by the surrenderers],” Justice secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said in a press briefing on Monday.
Teves denied owning the guns, ammunition and about PHP18 million in cash found during the raids on March 24 to 26.
Remulla said the witnesses also bared two other previous plans to kill Degamo with the use of a grenade and a sniper rifle.
According to the statements, the plans did not push through as a grenade was deemed unreliable while the constant haze would have made it difficult even for snipers.
“Basically, there was already conspiracy to kill Gov. Degamo then, maybe a hundred days ago,” Remulla said.
He said two to three masterminds may behind the assassination of Degamo in Pamplona town on March 4, with eight others also killed.
Criminal cases may be filed on or before Friday, according to Remulla.
Meanwhile, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, who represents Teves’ brother, Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, lamented before reporters Friday that his client is being unfairly prejudged.
On March 22, Congress slapped a 60-day suspension on Rep. Teves, who remains out of the country even if his travel authority has expired on March 9.
The brothers are being implicated in the death of Degamo.
Degamo unseated Pryde Henry as governor in just over three months after the votes of another candidate deemed as nuisance, Ruel Degamo, were credited in favor of the slain official. (PNA)