MANILA: In the latest attack against local officials, unknown gunmen shot and killed six people on Saturday, including a provincial governor in the central Philippines, according to his widow.
Local police reported that six suspects armed with rifles and dressed in military-style uniforms broke into the governor’s residence in Pamplona town and opened fire.
According to Roel Degamo’s widow, the governor of the Negros Oriental province, along with five others, were shot and killed in the incident.
This was an unjustifiable way to end Governor Degamo’s life. In a Facebook video, Janice Degamo, the mayor of Pamplona, praised the congressman for his work on a Saturday on behalf of the city’s residents.
President Ferdinand Marcos called the attack on his political ally a “assassination,” and he urged the assailants to “surrender now; it will be your best option.”
Marcos vowed that his administration would keep working until those responsible for the crime were held accountable.
None of the information about the four other victims who were shot during the incident has been made public.
AFP was told by provincial police spokesman Kym Lopez that the politician was shot while he was handing out aid to his constituents.
The six gunmen and four other suspects fled the scene in two SUVs and a pickup truck, leaving the vehicles in a nearby city. Police said they were searching for a total of 10 suspects.
At least three politicians, including Degamo, 56, have been shot in the Philippines since the local elections last year.
After a recount overturned the results that had previously given his local rival the governorship of Negros Oriental, the Supreme Court finally declared him the winner last month.
Additionally, Degamo supported Marcos’s presidential bid last year.
In an attack in February, Mamintal Adiong, governor of the southern province of Lanao del Sur, was shot and wounded; his driver and three police escorts were killed.
In the same month, vice mayor Rommel Alameda of the northern town of Aparri and five others were killed in a highway ambush.
The heads of a powerful southern clan and roughly two dozen of their followers were recently given life sentences for their roles in the bloodiest politically motivated ambush in history, which took place in 2009 in Maguindanao province and targeted the supporters of the candidate for governor who had lost to the clan’s preferred candidate.
There were 58 casualties as a result of the attack, including the politician’s wife and relatives as well as 32 journalists and media workers who were present to cover the election.