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2 of 4 arrested suspects in Pamplona Massacre turned over to Witness Protection Program

Still not state witnesses pending DOJ assessment

By: Pegeen Maisie Sararana - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 07,2023 - 05:56 PM

DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental — Two of the four arrested suspects in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and eight others last March 4, 2023, were turned over to the Witness Protection Program and are currently being assessed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) on whether they would be considered state witnesses.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, Special Investigation Task Group (SITG) spokesperson, confirmed this, saying the suspects were able to provide substantial information relative to the shooting.

Pelare added that the two others are now in Camp Crame as per instruction from the national government.

“When we forwarded the case, the complaints to DOJ, when we refer the case, control of the prosecution is in their hands already so they will assess if they will be qualified to become state witnesses, our job is just to turn them over,” Pelare said.

However, Pelare did not disclose who among Joric Labrador, 50, an ex-army, and a resident of Cagayan De Oro; Joven Aber, 42, an ex-army ranger, a resident of Barangay Robles in La Castellana, Negros Occidental; Benjie Rodriguez, 45, a native of Mindanao, and Osmundo Rivero, an ex-army from Zamboanga City, are placed under the Witness Protection Program.

Pelare said that hot pursuit operations are still ongoing for the remaining at-large suspects.

On Monday, March 6, multiple murder, multiple frustrated murder, and illegal possession of firearms and explosives charges were filed against the suspects.

Pelare said that the suspect who was killed during a firefight on Saturday evening, March 4,  remains unidentified as of this posting.



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TAGS: massacre, Negros Oriental

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