The killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo last Saturday was unacceptable and appalling for President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
“The killing of Governor Degamo is entirely unacceptable and it will not stand. This cannot go unpunished,” Marcos told reporters this Monday.
“This one is particularly terrifying,” added the president.
This Saturday morning, armed men entered the grounds of the governor’s house. The assailants allegedly introduced themselves as soldiers and shot Degamo, who was reportedly distributing financial aid to the people of Pamplona.
Besides Degamo, seven others were killed.
Regarding the attacks on local officials, Marcos instructed the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the police, to identify “hotspot” areas, as is done during elections.
“Actually, ang sinabi ko sa ating [DILG] Secretary [Benhur] Abalos and then the PNP is to now make an examination, kagaya ng ating ginagawa kapag darating ang eleksyon,” said Marcos.
“Gawin niyo ulit ngayon, don’t think of the elections first but think ano ‘yung mga hotspots, ‘yung mga mainit na lugar tingnan natin,” he added.
Marcos also insisted that private armies should be disbanded and illegal firearms be confiscated to stop the killing.
“Basta’t kakaunti ‘yung illegal firearms, kakaunti ‘yung ganyang klaseng krimen. ‘Yung mga private army na ganyan, kailangan talaga i-dismantle,” he said.
Pres. Marcos says killing of Governor Roel Degamo ‘terrifying’
Three suspects have been arrested in the killing of Degamo, identified as former soldiers Joric Labrador, Joven Aber, and Benjie Rodriguez.
Another suspect was reportedly killed in the encounter.
Abalos said the authorities are examining all possible motives for the crime that happened to the governor.
Roel Degamo successfully ran for governor in 2013, 2016, 2019, and 2022. He ran in 2016 under the National Unity Party’s banner and in 2019 and 2022 with the Nacionalista Party’s.
In the gubernatorial election of 2022, Degamo’s opponent Henry Teves has initially proclaimed the victor. Nonetheless, Degamo took the case to the Supreme Court, which granted Degamo’s mandamus motion. The Comelec en banc was required to take action on the outstanding petition by the High Court.
Later, the Comelec revoked Teves’ declaration and proclaimed Roel Degamo, the legitimate winner. On February 14, 19 days before Degamo was killed, the High Court upheld the Comelec en banc ruling announcing Degamo’s triumph.