Another suspect in Degamo slay surrenders

Supporters and family of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo attend a requiem Mass at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in Bonawon, Siaton town before his burial Thursday (March 16, 2023). (Photo courtesy of Kuya Dennis Caballero)

By Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – The Joint Task Force Negros (JTFN) confirmed on Tuesday that another suspect in the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Ragay Degamo surrendered to the authorities last week.

Major Cenon Pancito III, spokesperson of JTFN, said the suspect is one of the 10 direct participants in the killing of Degamo and eight others in Pamplona town on March 4, 2023.

Pancito said the suspect, whose name was withheld, sent surrender feelers to the authorities in Manila on March 17.

The Manila authorities then escorted him from the province to Manila over the weekend, he added.

Pancito said that he was the second suspect to surrender, after the arrest of three other suspects hours after the gun attack happened at Degamo’s residence that also wounded 17 individuals.

The suspect was also a former military personnel who was discharged from the service.

But Pancito was not privy to the specific participation of this suspect in the incident, since the authorities in Manila investigated him.

In a Monday press briefing, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said this suspect was one of the main players and direct participants in the killing.

For his part, Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the suspect has vital information on the case.

As of press time, Pancito said that six of the 10 direct participant-suspects have been accounted for, including a former NPA rebel who was neutralized in a shootout with authorities.

Four suspects and 12 “John Does” have been criminally charged, while pursuit operation is ongoing against the remaining suspects.

Pancito said that there was information previously about one of the suspects who also surrendered, but he was declassified from being a direct participant to an indirect participant.