by Julius D Mariveles with Hannah A Papasin and Banjo C Hinolan
DUMAGUETE CITY, Negros Oriental, Philippines – Top and ranking civil and military and police officers made their way to the home in Junob village here of former Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo who was slain in what police said was a “well-planned” assault by heavily-armed assassins on his residential compound in the town of Pamplona.
Presidential sister and Senator Imee Marcos, House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Interior and Local Government Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr all flew in from the national capital to personally condole with the wife, children, and relatives of Degamo.
The white coffin bearing Degamo’s body from the Negros Polymedic Hospital, where he died more than two hours after the assault, arrived past 9am, almost the same time a squad of heavily-armed killers who pretended to be State forces stormed his compound in Pamplona town yesterday, 4 March 2023.
General Rodolo Azurin, the country’s National Police head who has personally directed the pursuit operations against the killers, came with Abalos to personally assure Degamo’s widow that the investigation and pursuit operations are being taken cared of.
Army officers led by Armed Forces Visayas Command chief, Lieutenant General Benedict Arevalo, also came to condole.
“He was a big loss to the country and the nation,” Arevalo told DNX
Outside, squads of the counterinsurgency Special Action Force and local police were spread out along the narrow street leading to Degamo’s house.
Beside the door leading to the room where the coffin was placed, three women employees of Capitol were dressed in white, weeping even before they saw the dead governor.
Every now and then, a shriek can be heard followed by sobs and someone hugging the coffin.
Roel Degamo was killed on a weekend, beyond office hours, listening to people he serves.
He is now home.