Cops in Bayawan City, where suspects in Degamo murder fled, axed | Inquirer News

Cops in Bayawan City, where suspects in Degamo murder fled, axed

Another suspected communist rebel was killed in an encounter with government troopers in Sitio Banderahan, Barangay Trinidad, Guihulngan City, Negros Oriental at about 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

DUMAGUETE CITY — The Philippine National Police on Tuesday relieved all policemen and personnel of the Bayawan City Police Office, where the suspects in the murder of nine persons, including Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, escaped after the killing.

Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office in Central Visayas, said the city police needed “fresh legs” on the ground as they continued to pursue the remaining suspects.


A new team of policemen took over the Bayawan City Police Office.


Ballistic examination of the assault rifles recovered in Bayawan on March 4 had fingerprints matching those of the four arrested suspects.

The two sports utility vehicles used by the assailants were also traced to Cebu City.

“We still have to identify who the owners of these vehicles are or if they were stolen,” Pelare said.

Degamo’s wife and Pamplona Mayor Janice Vallega-Degamo, in an interview, revealed that her husband had received multiple death threats.

She recalled that in 2019 or 2020, a sports utility vehicle, which was found to be carrying ammunition, was intercepted in Kalibo town, Aklan. Someone had tipped Degamo that he was a target of an assassination plot.

Before his proclamation as governor, he also received another warning to be careful in going to the venue for the oath-taking ceremony.


“In our home in Pamplona, there were people who were apprehended. They could have been snipers, but they were unable to pull it off. We just could not imagine that it would [eventually] happen right inside our home,” Janice said.

She admitted that there were lapses in their security protocols in their residential compound.

“The governor’s receiving area should not have been near the gate. We did not anticipate that. While there is a security guard that guards the gate, he opens it every time there is a visitor to ask what he or she wants. It shouldn’t be that way because (the assailants) pushed their way in,” she said.

Another possibility she raised was that there could have been someone who got inside the compound, pretending to be one of those who needed the governor’s help but was actually giving instructions to the assailants through cellphone.

“It was more like that, and it seemed that the place was studied for a long time because when the pictures of the suspects were shown, some of our people said they thought they had seen those persons there before.”

Autopsy results show that Degamo had 11 gunshot wounds, including one that hit his heart.

Janice expressed hopes that justice would be served soon.

“He may not be perfect, but he is a peaceful man, and in my belief, a peaceful man does not deserve a cruel death,” she said.


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TAGS: murders, Police, Roel Degamo

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