Negros killings

San Carlos bishop calls for end to violent political, gun culture in Negros

Erwin Delilan

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

San Carlos bishop calls for end to violent political, gun culture in Negros

DEGAMO DEATH. Hundreds pay their last respects to slain Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo during interment ceremonies at Siaton town on March 16, 2023.

Francis Pabiana/Rappler

Bishop Gerry Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos City says that a year after the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and his companions 'peace remains elusive' in Negros island

BACOLOD, Philippines – As Negrenses marked the first death anniversary of Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo, on Monday, March 4,  Bishop Gerardo “Gerry” Alminaza of the Diocese of San Carlos City, called for the immediate end to what he said was Negros Island’s violence-prone political and gun culture.

Bishop Alminaza said a year after the merciless killings of Degamo and companions, “our call remains the same: Justice!” He added: “Our dream of integral peace is still elusive.”

Degamo and nine others were killled by armed men inside the compound of  the governor’s residence in Barangay 9, Pamplona town in Negros Oriental at around 9 am on March 4, 2023.

The assassination in broad daylight angered NegrOrenses who then demanded for justice for their beloved governor, and the pursuit of peace in the Negros community.

But Alminaza said, until now, Negrenses are still “crying” for genuine peace as Negros Island continues to be at the center of violent conflict.

“A violence-ridden political culture must end in society. It will never guarantee authentic development for our country,” said the outspoken bishop.

What Negros really wants, Alminaza said, is peace “without any stain of blood and violence.”

Fake solutions

The prelate also criticized what he described as institutionalization of fake solutions in disguise of achieving peace in the island.

“To be clear, peace can not be achieved by political means, by using weaponry or by institutionalizing fake solutions. When we talk for peace, it starts by disarming for peace,” he said.

Alminaza suggested ways to achieve genuine and lasting peace in Negros. These are:

  • end gun culture,
  • campaign to surrender and regulate gun ownership,
  • abolish private armies or “bodyguard system”,
  • institutionalize peace and development through schools without any form of militarization,
  • restore the initiated peace talks,
  • mandate the justice system to end impunity, and
  • conclude political dynasty.

The bishop admitted that by putting forward these suggestions for the sake of attaining peace in Negros, he could be branded as demonic or “anti-Christ”.

But he said he will never tire of calling for peace although this kind of demand to protect every citizen is the primordial work of the government.

He also said that the police and the military must not be selective and should not allow themselves to be used in politics or specific interests.

“This appears to be difficult but, indeed, these are important issues with clear implications against rising violence not only on Negros Island,” he said. –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!