BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – The remaining four suspected killers in the broad daylight attack in Pamplona town early this month that left nine people dead, among them former Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, may not all be ex mlitary but one thing is cetain for now: all know warfighting.
Army Major Pancito Cenon III, spokesperson of the Special Joint Task Force Negros, told DNX it cannot be confirmed yet if the four, who broke off from the previous three captured ex soldiers nabbed in Bayawan town hours after the broad daylight attack on the residential compound of Degamo,
Cenon made the confirmation a day after Degamo was buried in Siaton town and more than a week after Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr ordered the creation of a inter-afency body to restore order and suppress lawlessness in Negros Oriental, a province of more than one million that saw its first case of a sitting governor being killed.
The three suspects first nabbed by lawmen were Joric Labrador, Joven Javier from La Castellana town and Rickyvelle Luces, a native of Silay City – all former soldiers who have been trained by the Light Reaction Regiment, the premier counterterrorism unit of the Philippine Army, according to DNX sources.
Cenon, asked if these suspects are mercenaries who have received weapons and tactics training from private military contractors, said “no” in a text message reply to questions from DNX.
He added: “Not necessarily. For now what is evident is that one should have that necessary skills before he can be taken to the group. They are far below to being mercenaries