Ex-NPA member identified as one of suspects in Degamo murder

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 15) – A former member of the New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was among the suspects in the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, the military said on Wednesday.

The former rebel identified as Arnil Labradilla was killed during hot pursuit operations in Brgy. Cansumalig, Bayawan City on the night of March 4.

According to Major Cenon Pancito of the Special Joint Task Force Negros, this proves that the suspects they are pursuing have combat experience.

In a separate briefing, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said it is coordinating with the military for information about the suspect who was gunned down.

PNP spokesperson PCol. Jean Fajardo also said four of the suspects are now under police custody, while five more remain at large.

"We are under direction not to speak on the background of the remaining suspects. We are pursuing a very credible lead on their whereabouts," she said.

Fajardo also appealed to the suspects to surrender.

The PNP official expressed confidence that they would see "a major breakthrough" in the case in the coming days.

The Special Joint Task Force stressed that pinning down suspects in Degamo's killing alone will not end there, as they seek to identify those involved in the planning of the governor's death.

Only four personnel assigned to Degamo's security detail

Fajardo clarified there were only four police personnel assigned as part of Degamo's security detail.

According to the PNP, the four police personnel worked on rotation.

On the day of the attack, only one police personnel was on duty because two were on their rest day and the other was late after attending a family gathering.

The PNP said it was Degamo who personally selected his security.

CNN Philippines correspondents Gerg Cahiles and Crissy Dimatulac contributed to this report.