LGUs in the Philippines

After Degamo slay, LGUs, PNP stress need to know threats vs local officials

Jairo Bolledo

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After Degamo slay, LGUs, PNP stress need to know threats vs local officials

SLAIN. File photo of killed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.


The Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines also notes the need for greater police visibility at the local levels, and for strict implementation of the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act

MANILA, Philippines – After the brazen killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAP) stressed the need for more intelligence gathering and collaboration to determine threats against local government officials.

“The PNP recognized the need for more localized intelligence gathering and collaboration with local authorities to determine imminent threats to local authorities. The SILG (Secretary of the Interior and Local Government) emphasized the need to work closely with ULAP to continue the dialogue between local authorities and the PNP to institute systematic updating and communication and further improve the safety and security of local chief executives,” ULAP said in a statement dated Wednesday, March 8.

According to the group, which “is the umbrella organization of all leagues of local government units and local government officials in the country,” the point was raised during its meeting with the national police on Tuesday at Camp Crame. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benhur Abalos, whose department oversees the police and local goverments, presided over the said meeting.

Three days earlier – on March 4 – Negros Oriental’s long-time governor Degamo was killed by armed assailants just outside his family’s compound while attending an event for 4Ps beneficiaries in Pamplona town. He was pronounced dead at around 11:41 am, as confirmed by his wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, in a video message.

Some hours later, at around 4:20 pm, the local police said at least three individuals were arrested in hot pursuit after the governor’s death. Degamo is the latest local government official to be killed under the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda, who was killed in an ambush in Nueva Vizcaya on February 19.

During the meeting, ULAP also noted the need for greater police visibility at the local levels for better security. The group also called for the strict implementation of Republic Act No. 10591 or the Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, which prohibits the illegal possession of firearms, among others.

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The group also raised concern over the recent killings of present and former local officials.

“It is undeniable that the sizeable number of killings of local government officials and the brazenness of this recent spate of deaths, combine to send a chilling message to our people, hindering the democratic process and threatening the stability of the nation,” ULAP national president Dakila Cua said.

On high-profile killings

DILG Secretary Abalos, who is also former chairperson of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and a local politician, said the national police is focused on resolving high-profile killings involving local officials. He added that they had already asked for legislative support for additional PNP funding.

On February 27, Abalos, along with PNP chief Police General Rodolfo Azurin Jr., met with House Speaker Martin Romualdez to discuss the successive high-profile crimes in the country. – Rappler.com

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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.