PNP links security head of Teves sugar mill to Degamo slay

PNP links security head of Teves sugar mill to Degamo slay

MANILA – A former police officer who is now the security chief of an agribusiness compound in Sta. Catalina, Negros Oriental owned by former Governor Pryde Henry Teves has allegedly played a vital role in the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday.

PNP spokesperson Col. Jean Fajardo said Nigel Lagunay Electona, a former cop assigned at Dumaguete City Police Office, was arrested during the service of a search warrant at the HDJ Bayawan Agri-ventures Corporation, Tolong compound on March 24.

Base po sa report na binigay sa atin ng STG PRO7 (Special Task Group Police Regional Office 7) ay malaki po ang naging papel nitong si Mr. Nigel dahil lumalabas po sa mga report at impormasyon na previously arrested na mga suspects na accordingly itong si Nigel ay kasama po sa pagpaplano at in fact siya po ang tumulong dito sa ating mga gunmen para i-casing at surveillance po itong bahay po ni Governor Degamo (Based on the report given to us by STG PRO7 (Special Task Group Police Regional Office 7), Mr. Nigel played a big role because it appears from reports and information from the suspects arrested earlier, Nigel was involved in the planning and in fact he helped our gunmen in the casing and surveillance of Governor Degamo’s house),” Fajardo told reporters in a press conference held at Camp Crame.

Pryde is the brother of suspended Negros Oriental third district Representative Arnolfo Teves Jr., who was earlier tagged as one of the alleged masterminds in the killing fo Degamo.

Recovered during the March 24 raid in Pryde’s compound were various high-powered firearms, including a sniper rifle, ammunition and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which were kept underground and cash amounting to almost PHP19 million.

The operating team unearthed the IEDs using a backhoe and other heavy equipment during the operation.

Fajardo said that on March 26, police raided Electona’s residence in Barangay Villareal in Bayawan City by virtue of a search warrant, which yielded alleged illegal firearms and ammunition, hand grenades, pictures of Degamo and his family, maps, house routes and a photo of the gate of Degamo’s residence.

Fajardo said Electona was arrested due to illegal drugs in 2016 and was dismissed from the police service in 2017.

He then started working with Pryde and later became the chief security officer of the HDJ Tolong compound.

Fajardo said Teves has a lot to explain following the seizure of a large cache of firearms and the arrest of his chief security officer.

Interior Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. said the items that were seized during these operations were “believed to have been used during the planning stage of the murder” of Degamo.

“In light of these recent developments, the Special Task Force Degamo is very confident that we are nearing to the end of unmasking the masterminds behind the shocking and gruesome murder of Governor Degamo and others,” Abalos said.

Sa pagkakataong ito, ito lang ang message ko sa mastermind. Alam kong alam mo kung sino ka. Sumuko ka na. Lahat ng ebidensyang ito nakita naman natin sa ilang nakaraang araw. ‘Yung mga mismong pumatay nasa kustodiya na. Habang tumatagal andami na (This time, this is the only message I have to the mastermind. I know that you know who you are. Give up now. We have seen all this evidence in the last few days. The killers themselves are in custody. We have gathered enough as time passed),” he added.

Abalos said investigators are still assessing if Pryde can also be considered as among the brains behind Degamo’s killing.

Degamo was assassinated in his residence in Pamplona town on March 4.

Eight other individuals were also killed in the incident which was perpetrated mostly by former Philippine Army soldiers who are all now under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation. (PNA)

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