PH to seek Interpol Blue Notice vs. Degamo slay suspects

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 18) — The Philippine government will ask Interpol to issue a Blue Notice against the suspects in the assassination of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, a Department of Justice (DOJ) official said Saturday.

"So, all those that are in relation to the Degamo slay, we have taken concrete steps na maglabas po ng international lookout bulletin, pinapag-usapan po natin ang paglagay ng mga tao sa blue list, sa Interpol 'no," DOJ spokesperson Mico Clavano told a media briefing.

[Translation: So, all those that are in relation to the Degamo slay, we have taken concrete steps to issue an international lookout bulletin. We are now considering placing people on Interpol's blue list.]

Interpol Notices are international requests for cooperation or alerts allowing police in member countries to share critical crime-related information.

A Blue Notice means "to collect additional information about a person's identity, location or activities in relation to a criminal investigation."

Clavano said this will help the government monitor the movements of the suspects - who include Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo Teves.

Teves was tagged as the alleged mastermind. He flew to the US late last month for medical treatment, but the travel authority issued to him by the House of Representatives expired on March 9.

The lawmaker has asked for a two-month leave, citing a "very grave security threat" to his life and family.

Clavano said Teves has "the presumption of innocence until proven guilty."

"We cannot condemn…we have to let the wheels of justice turn. Hindi tayo pwede mag-convict sa media agad-agad, kailangan po dumaan sa tamang proseso [We cannot just publicly convict someone, due process must be followed," he added.

Aside from Teves, at least 10 more people are also being investigated for Degamo's killing, according to Clavano.

"Lumalabas po sa mga statements na mayroon po tayong parang layering na tinatawag 'no. So, mayroon po tayong mga gunmen, mga directly involved po doon sa assassination bilang driver, lookout… tapos meron ho tayong handler or parang middleman 'no na tinatawag. So ito iyong nagsisilbing parang layer of security doon sa ating mastermind," he said.

[Translation: Based on the statements, there is a so-called layering. We have gunmen who were directly involved in the assassination. They acted as driver, lookout… then there was a handler or middleman. So these appear to be a layer of security to our mastermind.]