The Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered the relief of all personnel of the Bayawan City Police Station in Negros. The move came as pursuit operations for remaining suspects in the attack on Governor Degamo went underway.
According to Lt. Col. Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesman of Special Investigation Task Group Degamo, they will be replaced by personnel from Regional Mobile Force Battalion.
A turn-over ceremony was held on March 7, 2023,12:10 in the afternoon, at the Bayawan Police Station, Brgy Villareal Hall, Bayawan City, Negros Oriental, which was presided by PLTGEN RHODEL O SERMONIA, Officer-in-Charge, PNP. PLtCol Stephen Amamaguid, former PPSMU, NOPPO from Cebu took over as the new Chief of Police of Bayawan City Police Station.
Pelare said the replacement personnel will take over the tasks of the relieved police officers. Those relieved personnel will undergo a 30 – day retraining and refresher course to remind and refresh them of the existing policies of the PNP, likewise, it tackles values formation, internal discipline, PNP ethical standards among others.
Governor Degamo and eight others were gunned down inside his family’s compound in Pamplona town on March 4. He died a few hours later at a private hospital in Dumaguete City. Results of an autopsy conducted by the PNP’s Regional Forensic Unit showed that he sustained 11 bullet wounds in his body.
“Four of the five suspects who were former military men and were discharged from the service, were already arrested, while one was killed in an encounter. The two suspects are now in Camp Crame, while the other two are being evaluated by Department of Justice if qualified under the Witness Protection Program.” Lt. Col Pelare said.
The initial ballistic examination also revealed that recovered bullets from the body of Gov Degamo came from one of the assault rifles recovered during the hot pursuit operations and prints from the recovered getaway vehicles were taken for comparison and for DNA testing. The owners of the vehicles were also identified and are being investigated for their possible involvement in the crime.
“All of Negros Island is sealed” due to the ongoing hot pursuit operations, according to Pelare.
In a statement, PNP OIC Lt Gen Rhodel O Sermonia said that the PNP has increased police presence with support from the military in Negros Oriental to maintain peace and order, saying “The PNP will leave no stone unturned in tracking down the suspects in this heinous crime.”
“The PNP is taking swift action to address the recent tragic event in Negros Oriental. We will do everything within our authority to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Governor Roel Degamo and other victims of this senseless act of violence”, Lt Gen Sermonia added.