Rep. Rodriguez says terminated security aide is a suspect in Gov Degamo killing 

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 05 March) – Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez on Sunday confirmed that a security aide he terminated for alleged drug addiction is one of the suspected gunmen who fired at Governor Roel Dagamo in his home in Pamplona,  Negros Oriental, Saturday, killing the governor and five others. 

Rodriguez said he terminated former Army Sgt. Joric Garrido Labrador in 2014 after officials from the 4th Infantry Division informed him of the soldier’s drug addiction.

“I immediately terminated his services because I don’t like working with people addicted to drugs,” Rodriguez told MindaNews.

Rodriguez said Labrador who was formerly assigned to the Military Intelligence Battalion at the 4th Infantry Division in Barangay Patag here, worked for him for four years as his security detail.

He said the  4th Infantry Division detailed Labrador and a fellow Army soldier as his security detail as congressman for the 2nd district of Cagayan de Oro.

Rodriguez said sometime in 2014, the 4th Infantry Division informed him that they terminated Labrador. He terminated Labrador immediately after. 

“I am saddened that Labrador was not able to break his shabu addiction. He was a good security personnel until the drugs caught up with him,” Rodriguez said.

Police arrested Labrador and two other Army soldiers — all of them highly trained operatives— in Barangay Cansumalig, Bayawan City following the attack on Governor Degamo.

The two other suspects were also former army soldiers —  Sgt. Joven Calibjo Javier, a member of the elite Light Reaction Battalion who went AWOL in 2018; and Corporal Benjie Rodriguez , a resident of Bonifacio, Misamis Occidental and a member of the Jolo-based Army 35th Infantry Battalion who also went on AWOL.

The military said all of the three underwent Special Forces and Close Quarter Battle (CQB) trainings.

Police seized seven M16 rifles, two B40 rocket propelled grenades (RPG) with five ammunitions; six Kevlar vests; one rifle case, three pairs of boots, two military uniforms and a gray sweatshirt.

The killing of Degamo came a month after gunmen attacked the convoy of Lanao del Sur Mamintal Adiong Jr, wounding him and killing four of his bodyguards. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)