February 24, 2024

DNA test confirms suspects involvement in Degamo slaying

By Justine Rich Talusan

DNA samples taken from crime scenes in the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo matched those of four of the suspects in the murder based on test examinations conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The DNA test authenticated the presence of blood stains inside one of the vehicles used during the crime. 

The same DNA was  also found in the late official’s compound. 

The four suspects associated with the samples are in the custody of the government.

According to attorneh Levi Baligod, private counsel for Pamplona town Mayor Janice Degamo and other individuals, the four suspects are Winrich Esturis, Eugelio Gonyon, Osmundo Rivero, and Rogelio Antipolo. 

“Our investigators collected specimens from the vehicles used by the shooters, as well as the blood stains left at Gov. Degamo’s compound, and subjected them to DNA analysis. The only exception would be if they had identical twins. However, since they do not have twins, the samples belong to Esturis, Gonyon, and Osmundo Rivero,” said Baligod. 

With the DNA analysis results conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Baligod expressed confidence in the sufficiency of evidence for the prosecution despite the recantation by the suspects.

“Even if these shooters recant, as we have stated before, we can still successfully pursue the cases,” said Baligod. 

Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, widow of Degamo, and the relatives of the other victims of the March 4 bloodbath, experienced a surge of emotions as they came face-to-face with the suspects during the preliminary investigation held at the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

According to Baligod, there were immediate tears shed when they saw the shooters. 

Mrs. Degamo’s emotions quickly overwhelmed her, prompting her to step out to avoid disrupting the proceedings. 

Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves Jr.’s legal representative was absent during the preliminary investigation conducted by the DOJ yesterday regarding the highly-publicized murder of Degamo. 

Teves, who is currently under suspension by the House of Representatives, remains abroad and has not yet returned.

Representatives from the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) were present during yesterday’s proceedings, serving as the counsel for the ten suspects currently in government custody. 

The lawyers who assisted them in their recantation were absent.

They were also sent subpoenas,” Baligod said.