Negros killings

Janice Degamo on Teves’ terrorist tag: ‘There’s no lesser word’ 

Ryan Macasero

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Janice Degamo on Teves’ terrorist tag: ‘There’s no lesser word’ 

Pamplona, Negros Occidental Mayor Janice Degamo, husband of slain Gov. Rodel Degamo, with her counsel gives a statement and updates on their case against Congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr and others accused in the killing of her husband, during press conference in Manila on June 13, 2023.


Suspended congressman Arnolfo Teves Jr. is the first elected official to be designated as a terrorist by the Philippine government

MANILA, Philippines – The widow of slain Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo agreed with the “terrorist” tag given by the government to suspended congressman Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, saying it was the best way to describe him.

“There’s no lesser word nga angay gyud gamiton (that’s fit to describe him),” Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo told Rappler on Wednesday, August 2.

She said that she saw the resolution of the Anti-Terrorism Council (ATC) as “light at the end of the tunnel.”

The mayor said that while she understood the “hesitation of some people” to use the anti-terrorism law to pin down Teves by designating him as a terrorist, the Teveses had allegedly committed acts that constitute “terrorism.”

“But perhaps those people who criticize the use of the law have not been victimized by these groups themselves. They (the Teveses) are organized. They grab land that does not belong to them. Even local reporters are afraid to report on them. If that’s not terrorism, then what is it?” Degamo said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Janice Degamo on Teves’ terrorist tag: ‘There’s no lesser word’ 
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Negros Oriental killings: Janice Degamo paves her own path to justice

Negros Oriental killings: Janice Degamo paves her own path to justice

The Anti-Terrorism Council designated Teves and 12 others as terrorists through Resolution No. 43, signed on July 26, and released to the public on August 1. (READ: Philippine gov’t declares alleged Degamo slay mastermind Teves a terrorist)

The ATC said in its resolution that it believes the killings in Negros Oriental “must not be taken as random incidents of violence” and that “a closer evaluation of these killings and harassments shows an unmistakable pattern of a rather organized and orchestrated action.”

Teves is the first elected official to be named a terrorist by the ATC. The Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) has already moved to freeze the assets of Teves and the 12 others who were designated terrorists.

Teves’ designation would also compel United Nations member-states to hand over Teves – who has been outside of the country since the Pamplona massacre – if the Philippines seeks his extradition, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla earlier said.

Janice Degamo on Teves’ terrorist tag: ‘There’s no lesser word’ 
No warrant yet

While Teves and his co-suspects in the Degamo killing have been designated as terrorists, Teves has yet to be indicted for the Degamo killing.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) filed multiple murder complaints against Teves on May 17, but these are still under preliminary investigation.

The government’s case build-up against Teves hit a snag after almost all of the suspects recanted their confessions and their statements linking the suspended congressman to the crime. (READ: Almost all suspects in Degamo slay recant confessions)

Still, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is confident that they will be able to build a strong case against Teves.

For Degamo, she said she is grateful that through her husband’s case, the long-running problem of killings in Negros Oriental is being given national attention. (READ: Killing a king: Degamo slay stirs Negros Oriental movement to end impunity)

“This is something that used to be confined to the corners of Negros Oriental only. Ngayon, kita na natin sa (Now, we see it on the) national level. I must congratulate the efforts of the national government,” she said. –

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Nobuhiko Matsunaka


Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at