Roel Degamo, the governor of the Negros Oriental province in the central Philippines, was shot to death Saturday by six gunmen who opened fire on him at his home in Pamplona when he was meeting with constituents. Five other people were also killed in the attack.
The gunmen were dressed in military gear and had long guns. Three men were later arrested who were believed to be some of the gunmen.
“Governor Degamo did not deserve that kind of death. He was serving his constituents on a Saturday,” his widow Janice Degamo, who is also the mayor of Pamplona, said in a statement.
The condition of others who were hospitalized after being wounded was not known on Sunday.
President vows justice
President of the Philippines Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who was a friend of Degamo, vowed to bring his killers to justice.
“My government will not rest until we have brought the perpetrators of this dastardly and heinous crime to justice,” Marcos said, adding that the government believes it has enough information to do so.
It is the third Filippino politician to be shot in the last two months.
Governor Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. of southern Lanao del Sur province suffered wounds and four of his bodyguards were killed while traveling in a convoy last month.
Additionally, the vice-mayor of the northern town of Aparri, Rommel Alameda, along with five other people who were traveling with him, were also killed last month.
Degamo had originally lost the gubernatorial election in 2022, but after a legal ruling that forced a recount, it was discovered that he actually won the race.
Because his opponents had run a candidate under the name of Ruel Degamo, Degamo argued that this was done to confuse voters so that the opponent would win.
Degamo filed with the Supreme Court to negate the other Degamo’s votes, and the Supreme Court decided to award those votes to Roel Degamo, which gave him the victory.
The original winner of the election stepped aside last month so that Degamo could assume the governorship according to the ruling.
It was not known whether his assassination had to do with the unseating of his opponent or whether other political forces were at work.