Roel Degamo

Thousands expected at funeral of slain Negros Oriental governor Degamo

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Thousands expected at funeral of slain Negros Oriental governor Degamo

VIGIL. Thousands of supporters of slain Negros Oriental governor Roel Degamo stayed overnight on March 15, the last night of his wake at the family's compound in Bonawan, Siaton town.

Governor Roel Ragay Degamo Facebook page

Family, friends and supporters will bring back the slain leader's remains from the Bonawan Catholic Church in Siaton to the family home, where he will be interred in the backyard with his mother and sister

DUMAGUETE, Philippines – More than 10,000 are expected to join the two-kilometer walk from the family home of slain Negros Oriental governor Roel Ragay Degamo in Bonawon, Siaton to the Bonawon Catholic Church for his Requiem Mass on Thursday afternoon, March 16.

Then his wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, their children, other kin, and supporters will accompany his body back home where Degamo will be interred in a backyard plot beside his mother, Luzveminda Ragay Degamo, and sister, Gina Degamo Estrella.

Thousands already stayed overnight on March 15 at his family’s compound in Bonawan village, Siaton town, more than 56 kilometers from the provincial capital.

Volunteers manned seven community kitchens overnight to feed those paying their last respects to the slain provincial leader.

VOLUNTEERS. Hundreds of supporters of the slain Negros Oriental governor Roel Ragay Degamo man seven community kitchens in the family’s Bonawon resident in Siaton town to feed thousands of mourners on the last night of his wake.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) provincial office issued an advisory, warning motorists headed for or passing Bonawan to take alternate routes.

Commuters should expect very heavy traffic, the police said.

Police checkpoints have been set up across the province since the March 4 attack on the governor’s Pamplona town residence that killed him and eight other victims.

It took Rappler’s team an hour and a half to reach Siaton late Wednesday night, a half-hour longer than the normal travel time.

There were no cellular signals in Bayawon in what was described as a security precaution.

Gratitude, calls for justice

Malacañang on Wednesday declared March 16, a special non-working holiday in Negros Oriental to allow residents to grieve the killing of Degamo and eight over victims following an attack on the governoor’s Pamplona town residence on March 4.

Ricky Cafino, one of Degamo’s closest friends since childhood, helped man one of the kitchen stations.

Recalling their friendship, Cafino said they spent childhood hunting birds and running around the fields of their village.’

Degamo never forgot peers from childhood and would always look for him whenever he came from from studies at Siliman University in the capital.

“He did not change even when he became an official,” Cafino told Rappler in an interview on March 15.

“I never expected that my last service as cook would be for his funeral,” said Cafino.

CHILDHOOD FRIEND. Ricky Cafino, a childhood pal of slain Negros Oriental governor Roel Ragay Degamo, has volunteered for years as a cook for the politician’s public events but never expected his last stint would be for his friend’s wake and funeral.

Thousands have visited Bonowan since Degamo’s remains arrived on March 14, when Vice President Sara Duterte came to pay her respects.

“You helped us in any manner you could to meet our financial demands as students. You went through a lot, but you never stopped serving your people,” said Mary Grace Ugsod, a scholar and dean’s lister studying at the Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) in a Facebook post shared by hundreds of other students.

Degamo’s remains were transferred to the family home on March 15 for the last night of his wake.


Authorities explained the checkpoints, which extend towards border towns of Negros Occidental, as means of preventing the escape of several attack team members who remain at large.

Four men have been arrested for the killing and have offered to turn witnesses for the state. Another suspect died in pursuit operations

Three of the men arrested are ex-soldiers and one worked as a taxi driver.

The Special Joint Task Force Negros handling the investigation into the Degamo slay identified the slain suspect as former Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA) rebel Arnil Labradilla of Sitio Awang, Barangay Atotes in Bindoy town, Negros Oriental. –


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