JUSTICE Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Thursday, March 9, 2023, noted the “pattern of impunity” in Negros Oriental that was unearthed following the execution of its long-time governor Roel Degamo.

“What comes out is a pattern. It’s a pattern of impunity that we did not sense before. It is something that is so new to us,” Remulla said in a chance interview with reporters.

“It’s very hard to imagine this happening before. But now that this (Degamo’s killing) happened, the stories are beginning to make sense that there was a pattern of impunity within the area,” he added.

On March 4, at least six armed men barged in to Degamo’s compound in Pamplona town and started shooting.

Eight individuals, including Degamo’s security aides and innocent civilians, were also killed in the incident, and 13 others were seriously injured.

On Wednesday, Marcos along with Remulla and other government officials visited Degamo’s wake in Dumaguete City.

Marcos vowed to the families of the victims that his government will not stop until the perpetrators of the gruesome crime were brought to justice.

Remulla said several names were mentioned during their visit and he has ordered the National Bureau of Investigation to invite them in the bid to pinpoint the brains behind Degamo’s killing.

“There will be more cases filed about past incidents that were dismissed before, that were not attended to before but would not constitute double jeopardy on the part of the accused,” he said.

“So this is not just about nine murders, there may be more, more cases to be investigated, besides even the ones, the three cases, brought by Atty. Baligod brought here on Tuesday,” Remulla added.

The secretary was referring to the murder charges filed on Tuesday, March 7, by Lawyer Levito Baligod against Negros Oriental Third District Representative Arnulfo Teves and several others over the 2019 killings of three individuals in the province.

Teves was being accused as the mastermind of the killings of Miguel Dungog, Lester “Tom-Tom” Bato and Pacito Libron.

Asked if Teves is among those being investigated in the killing of Degamo, Remulla said everybody who might be involved in the incident are being probed.

Teves already denied rumors linking him to Degamo’s death.

He said that while he and his brother, former Negros Oriental governor Pryde Henry Teves, were Degamo’s political rivals, they were not capable nor had the motive to have him executed.

Remulla earlier said that the end for the investigation on Degamo’s killing is already near considering the vital information provided by the arrested suspects.

Hours after Degamo was gunned down, four gunmen were arrested and they have been transferred to Manila for security purposes while investigation is ongoing. (SunStar Philippines)