THE four arrested suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo have been transferred to the Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Philippine National Police (PNP) spokesperson Colonel Jean Fajardo said on Tuesday, March 7, 2023.

Fajardo said Benjie Rodriguez, Joven Calibjo Javier, Joric Labrador and Osmundo Rivero, all former members of the Philippine Army, were transferred to ensure their protection while the investigation is ongoing.

She said the suspects already underwent inquest proceedings in Dumaguete City court before they were transferred to Manila.

Fajardo said two of them have already executed extra-judicial confession and they are being considered to be placed under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Rodolfo Azurin Jr. said on Monday, March 6, that they already have leads to the masterminds in the crime based on the confession of the suspects, but it is still undergoing investigation.

Degamo and eight other individuals, including innocent civilians, were killed in a shooting incident at the politician’s residence in Pamplona town. There were at least 10 suspects.

One of the suspects was killed after allegedly engaging cops in a gunfight.

Fajardo said the firearms used by the suspects were either unlicensed or with expired licenses.

“Inaalam natin paano nakalusot at napasakamay nitong mga suspects itong mga high-powered firearms na ito,” she said.

(We are trying to find out how these high-powered firearms got into the hands of these suspects.)

“We will proceed to where the evidence will point us, regardless kung sino po yung matutumbok, o kahit sino pa siya ano pang estado niya sa buhay, maging civilian o elected (regardless of their status, whether they’re civilians or elected officials),” she added.

Fajardo said the identification of owners of the vehicle used by the suspects is ongoing. (SunStar Philippines)