Marcos visits wake of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo

By GMA Integrated News

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Wednesday visited the wake of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

“I just came here here para makiramay sa family ni governor. Nagtatanong lang kami kung ano ba yung kailangang gawin para matulungan yung mga biktima pati yung mga nasa ospital ngayon,” said Marcos.

(I just came here to sympathize with the governor's family. We asked how we can help the victims and those still in the hospital.)

“Nandyan yung ibang mga kamag-anak, asawa ng mga namatay kaya’t nakausap din natin at sinabi ko lang sa kanila na makakaasa sila na magkakaroon ng hustisya dito sa inyong probinsya na naging masyadong magulo,” he added.

(We talked to relatives, the wives of those who died. I told them that they can expect justice in this province which is now full of uncertainties.)

Marcos committed to providing scholarships to the children of those killed and shouldering the medical fees of those wounded.

He was accompanied by Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benhur Abalos during his visit.

Degamo's widow Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo said that they appreciated the effort of the President be at the wake.

“Na-touch din po talaga kami. Alam ko yung pagiging President hindi madali, lahat ng kaharap niya sa araw na ito kami nakaharap niya ngayon,” Janice told reporters.

(We were also really touched. I know that being the President is not easy with all the things he is facing today.)

“We have requests. Mahirap ibigay yung justice dahil may proseso doon. That is just one of the many works President does so appreciate talaga namin,” she added.

(We have requests. It is difficult to give justice because there is a process. That is just one of the many works the President does so we really appreciate it.)

She said that they had gathered strong evidence on the alleged mastermind.

Remulla has said that the suspects have said they had a video conversation with the alleged brains behind the crime.

“Wala kaming pinagusapang pangalan pero totoo po na medyo malakas yung evidence na gather to pin down the culprit, the mastermind,” Janice said.

(We didn't talk about names, but it's true that the evidence gathered is strong enough to pin down the culprit, the mastermind.)

The mayor supported placing the other suspects under witness protection program.


“We would like to uncover the mastermind so kung dapat lang na i-under witness protection program sila,” Janice said.

(We would like to uncover the mastermind so if they should be put under the witness protection program.)

Marcos earlier condemned the killing of Degamo, saying that his government would not rest until justice is served.

The President also issued a stern warning to the perpetrators of the crime.

"I am warning all those involved in this killing: you can run but you cannot hide. We will find you. If you surrender now, it will be your best option," he said.

He also ordered the Department of the Interior and Local Government, including the police force, to identify the "hotspots" following the recent killings of local government officials.

Marcos also stressed the need to dismantle private armies as well as locate and seize the illegal firearms to curb these killings.

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.

Meanwhile, Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla on Wednesday claimed that the "end is near" in the Degamo case as they have a video of the alleged mastermind.

Degamo's widow, Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, believes the killers are the same people that previously threatened the governor and that the possible masterminds are "powerful people". —Richa Noriega/ VAL/NB, GMA Integrated News