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Mayor Degamo to exhaust all options to find justice for slain husband

Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, widow of slain Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, on Monday appealed in a Senate hearing for her to be allowed to explore all options to find justice for her husband.

During a Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee hearing on the Degamo slay case, the mayor said it was not her intention to belittle authorities' efforts as she could see their exertions to solve the murder.

“Pero hayaan niyo po ako na gawin bilang asawa ng aking nawalang, napaslang na partner na i-explore lahat ng avenue kung saan talaga namin makamit ang hustisya, kung ano sa tingin namin makakatulong na makamit ito dahil hindi kami makakapag-move on,” Degamo said.

(But please allow me as the wife of my murdered partner to explore all avenues where we can get justice, and do what we think will help get it because we can't move on.)

“I do not want to, one day soon when we meet in heaven, ayaw ko namang sabihin sa kanya na, ‘Roel, kinulang ‘yung effort.’ Gusto ko ‘pag nagharap kami, may hustisya o wala, ako bilang may bahay ng governor, alam niya na kinapalan niya talaga ang mukha ko,” she added.

(When we meet in heaven, I don’t want to tell him we didn't try everything. When we meet again, I want him to know that, whether or not we found justice, I shamelessly did everything I could.)

Governor Degamo was talking to beneficiaries of the government's Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) program at his residence in Pamplona, Negros Oriental on March 4, when armed men barged in and shot him and several other people.

The government is investigating the killings in Negros Oriental following this incident, with Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla saying that officials are seeing a “pattern of impunity” in the province.

Mayor Degamo said she hoped that peace would return to Negros Oriental.

“Kasama po dito ang aking hope and desire na sana with justice comes peace. Kailangan talaga namin ang kapayapaan sa Negros Oriental. Araw araw ng buhay namin doon kami uuwi. That is the only place we will ever call home,” she said.

(This includes my hope and desire that with justice comes peace. We really need peace in Negros Oriental. We will go home there every single day.)

For his part, former Negros Oriental Governor Pryde Henry Teves, brother of suspended Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves Jr., who is being linked to the assassination of Degamo, said that he personally knew two of the victims.

He also committed to answer all questions pertaining to the investigation.

Senator Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa on Monday bared that the Senate panel “unanimously” agreed not to allow Arnie Teves to virtually attend the investigation into the Degamo slay, citing lack of jurisdiction and inter-parliamentary courtesy. — DVM, GMA Integrated News