A fourth suspect in Saturday’s gruesome killing of Governor Roel Degamo and eight other individuals, was killed in a firefight by pursuing combined troops from the Philippine National Police and the Philippine Army Saturday night.
P/Col. Gerard Pelare, spokesperson of the Special Investigation Task Group Degamo, said the still unidentified suspect was shot after he engaged the lawmen to a firefight around 9 p.m. in barangay Cansumalig, Bayawan City.
Pelare said the troops are still searching for the other suspects, who are believed to still be in Negros Oriental.
“All ports and exit points have been sealed so there’s no way for them to leave the Province,” Pelare said.
So far, three suspects are in custody at the PNP Provincial Headquarters at Camp Francisco Fernandez in Agan-an, Sibulan, Negros Oriental, where they are undergoing tactical interrogation.
The three suspects are all ex-military personnel who have been dishonorably discharged from the service for various offenses involving drugs and going on AWOL.
Pelare said that based on the background of the three captured suspects, it could be possible that the other suspects who are still at large may also be former military soldiers.
He said the suspects will be presented to the media once the Special Investigation Task Force will determine will allow it. “There are protocols to be followed,” he said.
Pursuing troops also recovered the firearms believed to have been used by the suspects in attacking the home of Gov. Degamo.
The cache was discovered also in barangay Cansumalig in Bayawan City, where the suspects abandoned their three getaway vehicles and started fleeing on foot.
The firearms consisted of five 5.56 mm assault rifles, one B40 (Rifle Propelled Grenade) with five ammunition. Also recovered were four bandoliers fully loaded with plates; one rifle case, two combat uniforms, one grey sweatshirt and three pairs of combat boots.
On Sunday, Senator Imee Marcos, House Speaker Martin Romualdez, Interior Secretary BenHur Abalos and other high ranking officials arrived in Dumaguete for meetings with security forces and to express their condolences to the Degamo family.