Negros killings

Death toll in Degamo attack rises to 10 as another victim dies

Ryan Macasero

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Death toll in Degamo attack rises to 10 as another victim dies

Governor Roel Degamo's Facebook page

An employee of the provincial engineering office who sustained gunshot wounds dies two months after the massacre in Pamplona, Negros Oriental

MANILA, Philippines – Another victim in the attack that killed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo died of his injuries on Saturday, May 6, bringing the death toll to 10.

Janice Degamo, widow of the slain governor and mayor of Pamplona town, confirmed to Rappler the death of Fredilino Cafe Jr., also known as “Putok.”

Magkita na mo ni Roel, ‘Putok,’ ug sa mga kaubanan nato nga kuyog na sa Ginoo karong mga taknaa. Rest in peace, ‘Putok.’ Si Lord na bahala ninyo ni nong Roel nimo (You will see Roel, ‘Putok,’ and our other friends who are already with the Lord in these hours. Rest in peace, ‘Putok.’ The Lord will take care of you and Roel),” Degamo also said in a Facebook post on Sunday, May 7.

According to Degamo, Cafe was an employee of the provincial engineering office from Santa Catalina town.

Another post from the slain governor’s Facebook page, which is still managed by the family’s staff, said Cafe had been in and out of the hospital since the March 4 massacre, where armed men opened fire during an aid event at the Degamo family’s residential compound.

So far, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has 11 suspects in custody. Almost all of the suspects are former soldiers.

Justice Secretary Boying Remulla earlier said the NBI was eyeing the filing of murder complaints against Negros Oriental 3rd District Representative Arnie Teves. Remulla has called Teves the “producer,” or the person who funded and helped mastermind the attack, but no complaints have been filed against the suspended lawmaker, so far.

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Teves is facing a separate multiple murder complaint for three 2019 killings in Negros Oriental unrelated to the Degamo assassination.

Rappler asked the Department of Justice if there would be an additional murder complaint filed given the latest fatality, but it has yet to reply as of posting.

Why it matters

While political killings still happen in the Philippines, it’s rare for an incumbent governor to be assassinated in his own home in broad daylight, with ordinary citizens caught in the crossfire.

The brazen attack brought national attention to the long-running problem of unsolved killings in Negros Island. It stirred conversations on ending impunity and protecting human rights in Negros Oriental, issues that are rarely talked about in the province.

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Killing a king: Degamo slay stirs Negros Oriental movement to end impunity

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The Senate committee on dangerous drugs and public order held marathon hearings to investigate the Degamo assassination and other Negros Oriental killings from April 17 to 19. They heard from dozens of families of victims of unsolved killings, survivors, and police. (READ: Victims detail Negros Oriental ‘reign of terror’ on 2nd day of Degamo inquiry)

The Senate inquiry, chaired by Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, is set to continue on Wednesday, May 10. –

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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