TWO more suspects linked to the murder of Negros Orientals governor and 26 other victims have been arrested after police searched two undisclosed areas in Bayawan City, Negros Oriental at the weekend.

Interior Secretary Benjamin C. Abalos, Jr. said at a livestreamed news briefing on Monday that police on Sunday seized firearms, ammunition, a written plan to murder the late Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo, and a house plan of the late official’s residence where the crime was committed.  

“We are confident that we are nearing the end and close to finding out who the mastermind behind the killing of Governor Degamo is,” he said. 

“My message to the mastermind and those on the run, you should surrender now,” he added in Filipino. 

Last week, Mr. Abalos announced that 10 suspects were under police custody, noting that nine of them were ex-military officers. 

Four suspects were initially arrested, two of whom tagged Negros Oriental Rep. Arnolfo ArnieA. Teves, Jr. as the mastermind behind the governors killing. 

Justice spokesman Jose Dominic F. Clavano IV told the same briefing the congressman could be one of the masterminds of the killing due to his political rivalry with Mr. Degamo.   

Mr. Clavano said that government prosecutors will file murder, frustrated murder, and attempted murder complaints against six suspects of the killing within the week. 

“The cases will be tried jointly with the previous cases for murder filed by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Negros Oriental against the four previous respondents who were caught and subjected to inquest proceedings recently,” Mr. Clavano said. 

Mr. Teves has denied involvement in the crime and cited threats against him and his family for refusing to return to the country. He has been slapped with a 60-day suspension by the House of Representatives for failing to report back to work after his travel authority expired on March 9.  

Last week, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. gave assurance that Mr. Teves would be afforded ample government security upon his return to the country. John Victor D. Ordoñez