Marcos visits wake of Degamo, assures aid to victims

Marcos visits wake of Degamo, assures aid to victims

MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Wednesday visited the wake of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo who was killed right inside his residence in Pamplona town last March 4.

Marcos arrived at the wake in Dumaguete City past 6 p.m.

He said he spoke to Degamo’s family members, including his wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Vallega-Degamo, and discussed ways to provide assistance to eight other people who were also killed and 17 others wounded.

“I just came here makiramay sa family ni Gov. Roel at nagtatanong lang kami ano dapat gawin para matulungan yung mga biktima pati yung mga nasa ospital ngayon (I just came here to extend sympathies to the family of Gov. Roel and asked them what we need to do to provide help to victims including those currently in the hospital),” Marcos said in a media interview after visiting the wake.

He also assured justice for the family of all victims who died in the shootout.

“Andiyan yung ibang mga kamag-anak, asawa ng namatay nakausap din natin at sinabi ko lang sa kanila na makakaasa sila na magkakaroon ng hustisya dito sa inyong probinsya na naging masyadong magulo (The relatives, spouses of those who died were there and we got to speak to them and I told them that they can hope that justice will be served in this province that has now become chaotic),” he added.

Other officials present are Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos, Justice Secretary Boying Remulla, Special Assistant to the President Antonio Lagdameo Jr., and Dumaguete City Mayor Felipe Remollo, among others.

Earlier, Marcos described Degamo’s killing as “shocking” and “terrifying”, citing how the governor was killed in front of his residence in San Isidro Village.

“It was shocking. I couldn’t believe that this would still happen… This one is particularly terrifying…This does not belong in our society. Hindi na pwede yung ganyan kaya’t hindi natin pababayaan (We cannot allow this to keep happening),” he told reporters on Monday.

Marcos said he is so far pleased with the initial results of the ongoing investigation.

To date, the four arrested suspects in the gruesome killing of Degamo and eight others have been transferred to the Camp Crame Custodial Center in Quezon City on Tuesday and the DOJ has said all four have expressed their intention to cooperate with investigators.

A criminal charge for three counts of murder and frustrated murder have been filed before the Tanjay, Negros Oriental regional trial court against suspects Joric Labrador, Joven Javier, Benjie Rodriguez, Osmundo Rivero and 12 other John Does.

The four were all former members of the Philippine Army who were dishonorably charged for either being absent without official leave or facing illegal drug charges.

Separate charges for illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives were filed against three of the respondents in the Bayawan City regional trial court.

Degamo served as governor of Negros Oriental province from 2011 to June 2022, and again from October 2022 until his assassination on March 4.

He was killed along with 8 others while distributing financial assistance to poor families. (PNA)

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