Lawmakers condemn Negros Oriental gov’s assassination
MANILA, Philippines — Lawmakers have condemned the assassination of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Saturday morning, urging authorities to track down and bring the assailants to justice.
Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri expressed his condolences to the family of Degamo and denounced the incident, which he called a “dastardly act of violence.”
“I strongly condemn this dastardly act of violence. This is especially alarming, coming so soon after the ambush of Gov. Mamintal Adiong, not to mention the recent ambush on Mayor Ohto Montawal of Maguindanao del Sur and the killing of Vice Mayor Rommel Almeda in Cagayan,” said Zubiri in a statement issued on Saturday.
“For this ambush to happen while Gov. Degamo was in the middle of attending to 4Ps beneficiaries is appalling. It is sick and heartless, and the suspects should rot in jail,” he added.
Reports revealed that Degamo was shot by unidentified assailants in army and navy uniforms in full battle gear at the receiving area inside his home in Barangay Isidro, Pamplona town.
His death was confirmed by Siaton Mayor Fritz Diaz on Saturday afternoon.
Zubiri also called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to strengthen its efforts “against the culture of impunity that seems to be encouraging more and more of these attacks” nationwide.
On the other hand, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva also expressed his dismay at the prevalence of attacks against local government officials.
“Nakikiramay po tayo sa pamilya ni Gov Roel at sa mga taga-Negros Oriental na lubos na nagdadalamhati sa panahong ito,” said Villanueva in a separate statement.
(We condole with the family of Gov. Roel and those from Negros Oriental who are grieving at this time.)
“These acts of violence and lawlessness are a clear display of arrogance against our government. We should never be accustomed to these senseless killings. We call on the PNP to act swiftly and put these criminals behind bars,” he added.
For his part, Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla chastised authorities for the repeated acts of violence against local government officials recently.
“Kailangan ba nating paulit-ulit kondenahin ang ganito at ipaalala sa ating mga law enforcers na wala itong lugar sa ating lipunan?” Revilla asked.
(Do we need to repeatedly condemn these incidents and remind our law enforcers that violence does not have a place in our society?)
“What are they doing? They must stop lip service and instead make sure they put an end to this kind of lawlessness. Parang pinaglalaruan na lang sila ng mga kriminal kasi (It seems like the criminals are playing them),” said Revilla.
He added that these incidents are an attack on the officials and the people who voted for them.
“Hindi dapat hayaan ang ganitong mga atake sa demokrasya,” he stressed as he extended his condolences to Degamo’s bereaved family.
(We should not let these kinds of attacks against democracy happen.)
Meanwhile, House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said the incident directly challenges the authorities.
He, likewise, urged the authorities to stop the violence and restore peace in communities nationwide.
“I expect the National Police to act with dispatch in arresting those responsible for this dastardly act. Stop lawlessness in the land and restore peace and order in our communities. That is your sworn duty,” said Romualdez in another statement.