Governor of Philippine province, 5 others killed in gun attack


March 4 (UPI) — Roel Degamo, the governor of the Central Philippines province of Negros Oriental, was assassinated and five others also died Saturday in an attack by gunmen, officials said.

The attackers were dressed in full battle gear when they shot the governor several times in the town of Pamplona, regional police spokesperson Gerard Ace Pelare said in a briefing.


Negros Oriental is in the country’s Central Visayas region, located about 500 miles south of Manila.

Degamo’s wife, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, confirmed in a social media post that five others died with her husband in the attack and called for justice to be meted out to the assassins, the Manila Times reported.

Degamo’s election as governor last year was complicated by the presence of a candidate, Grego Gaudia, who ran under the name “Ruel Degamo,” and Degamo initially lost the election to his main opponent, Pryde Henry Teves.

The Philippines Commission on Elections decided that the 49,039 votes that went to “Ruel Degamo” should instead be added to the 277,462 votes that Roel Degamo received, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The resulting 326,501 votes surpassed the 296,897 votes received by Teves, and the decision enabled Degamo to replace him after Teves had already spent four months in office.


Degamo’s slaying brought expressions of shock from across the Philippines.

“I condemn the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo,” Philippines Vice President Sara Duterte — a political ally of Degamo — said in a Twitter post. “His death is a tragedy to the province of Negros Oriental, and I am one with the grieving people of the province, his friends, and his family.”