Abalos orders replacement of all police personnel in Negros Oriental after Degamo slay

Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos has ordered the replacement of all police personnel in Negros Oriental following the brazen daylight assassination of Governor Roel Degamo last weekend.

“As per my instruction, all the police personnel in Bayawan City and other local government units in Negros Oriental will be changed,” Abalos said on Facebook on Tuesday.

Abalos deployed Philippine National Police (PNP) deputy chief for administration Police Lieutenant General Rhodel Sermonia to Bayawan City to implement his directive.

“As per his latest update, General Sermonia has completed the turnover of the Bayawan City police chief and the changing of all police personnel,” Abalos said.

PNP public information office acting chief Police Colonel Redrico Maranan told reporters on Wednesday that 75 police personnel are affected by the order in Bayawan City.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Amamaguid from Cebu is now the chief of Bayawan City Police, replacing Police Lieutenant Colonel Rex Aboy Moslares.

“Others to follow. By phase ang replacement,” Maranan said in a message.

At least four suspects in the killing of Degamo are now in police custody, while another was killed during hot pursuit operations.


Degamo and five others were killed while 13 others were injured in the March 4 attack conducted while the governor was distributing aid to his constituents at his residence in Pamplona town. The death toll increased to nine on Sunday.

The police said they are looking for at least five more suspects who are still at large.

Government prosecutors have already filed murder and frustrated murder charges against four suspects in the killing of Degamo before the Tanjay City Regional Trial Court.

The cases were filed against Joric Garido Labrador, Joven Calibjo Javier, Benjie Rodriguez, Osmundo Rojas Rivero, and 12 John Does.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) said charges of illegal possession of firearms, ammunition, and explosives were filed against three individuals before the Bayawan City Regional Trial Court. —Joviland Rita/KBK/RSJ, GMA Integrated News