Negros killings

Fellow governors, Negros leaders condemn Degamo murder, ‘deplorable attacks’ on local officials

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Fellow governors, Negros leaders condemn Degamo murder, ‘deplorable attacks’ on local officials

NEGROS ORIENTAL Governor Roel Degamo at the Sandiganbayan on January 27, 2017.

Rappler file photo

The bishop of Dumaguete City and elected officials in both Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental say their people deserve to live in safety and peace

MANILA, Philippines – “Cowardly.” “Deplorable.” “Despicable.” “Heartbreaking.” “Heinous.” “Senseless.” “Unacceptable.”  

Provincial governors and other elected leaders across the country, as well as a number of key local officials in the two Negros provinces, used the strongest terms to condemn and mourn the killing of one of their own, Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, on Saturday, March 4. 

Between the shock and anger at the attack, the call for justice, and the expression of sympathies to Degamo’s family and the families of at least five other people who were also killed, there was the resolve: the people of Negros Oriental deserve to live in safety and peace.

Degamo was killed when heavily armed men barged into an aid distribution activity outside his residence and killed him and several others. The attack came just a few weeks after the Supreme Court dislodged his rival Henry Teves as governor, after a recount of votes showed Degamo as the winner of the May 2022 election.

Below are excerpts from statements by various officials and local leaders.

League of Provinces of the Philippines 

Violence has no place in a civilized society governed by the rule of law…. 

The League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) condemns this attack on a public servant in front of his home while doing his job as a provincial governor….. [We] deplore the attack on the life of Gov. Degamo, who has served well his constituents. 

We issue this statement not only to condemn such cowardly acts of violence and call for immediate investigation by law enforcement agencies of the incident, to offer LPP’s heartfelt condolences for those that Gov. Degamo left behind, but to enjoin everyone to put a stop on this deplorable and despicable deed.

Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines

These brutalities and senseless attacks mark a worrying escalation of violence that no  cause can ever justify. The deplorable and cowardly acts targeting local officials is an  affront to our democracy and rule of law and must stop immediately. We call for all perpetrators to be held accountable the soonest possible time.  

ULAP will work  closely as partner of DILG and PNP in bringing these atrocities to an end as it continues to actively pursue efforts against criminality and lawlessness to keep the  public safe and secure following this spate of attacks against our officials.  

Negros Oriental officials

1st District Representative Jocelyn Limkaichong

I offer my deepest sympathies and prayers to Gov. Roel Degamo’s family and to all the families who have lost loved ones in the shooting incident today. 

The People of Negros Oriental deserve to live in an environment of peace and order, where our children can safely grow and thrive. This is not who we are. We must stand in solidarity in the fight against violence and impunity.

2nd District Representative Manuel ‘Chiquiting’ Saggarbaria

I am deeply concerned and saddened by the tragic event that transpired this morning at Pamplona, Negros Oriental.

No cause can justify the killing of Gov. Roel R. Degamo and several other innocent persons. 

Let us come together as a community in this dark moment in the history of our province and call on law enforcement authorities to conduct a serious and honest investigation into the killings and bring those responsible to justice.

My condolences go to the families of Gov. Degamo and the other victims of the incident.

Bishop Julito Cortes of the Diocese of Dumaguete

How can we ever attain lasting peace if this culture of violence continues to torment us? When will this cycle of killings ever stop? We pray, then, that the perpetrators behind this bloodshed be brought to justice soon.

To those whose hands are full of blood, heed the words of the Prophet Isaiah: “Wash yourselves clean! Put away your misdeeds from before God’s eyes; cease doing evil and learn to do good.” (Isaiah 1: 16-17).

For the rest of us in the Community, let us admit that we are very much saddened and shocked.  But let us remain calm and vigilant. Do not allow anger or fear to consume us. 

I urge all government agencies, National and Local, especially the police and military, to work closely together for the speedy resolution of these cases, and thus, help us attain peace and justice in our island…. 

God knows the anguish of our hearts, Brothers and Sisters. So, do not be discouraged. The Lord of love and mercy will never abandon us. As we hold on to His promise, let us surrender all our concerns to His loving presence. May the Lord bless and protect you and your families always!  

Negros Occidental officials 

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson

I, together with the people of Negros Oriental, mourn the loss of Governor Roel Degamo. 

I condemn his murder as well as that of others who were just there to seek assistance. We need to put a stop to violent crimes such as this, and I earnestly hope that justice will prevail. Our people and government officials deserve to live in peace and should be able to live free from fear. 

On behalf of the people of Negros Occidental, I offer my prayers and sincerest sympathies to Mayor Janice Degamo and family, and also to the families of those who were killed with him. May their souls rest in peace.

3rd District Representative Jose Francisco Benitez

I condemn in the strongest possible terms the murder of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo. Violence has no place in the Negros Island.

On behalf of the people of the Third District of Negros Occidental, my family and I convey our deepest sympathies with Mayor Janice and their loved ones, and pray for their strength through this difficult times. 

I join the call to bring to justice the individuals who committed this despicable act, as I pray for peace in the Negros island.

Bacolod Mayor Albee Benitez

It is with full conviction that I condemn this unacceptable and deplorable heinous crime. 

I am one with those who call for swift justice, that the perpetrators be caught to face the consequences of their actions. 


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