Press Release
March 6, 2023

Senate condemns brutal murder of Negros Oriental governor; denounces increasing killings of govt officials

The Senate adopted two resolutions, Monday, March 6, 2023, expressing sympathies and condolences on the death of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo; and condemning the recent spate of killings and attacks against government officials and private persons.

Both Senate Resolutions No. (SRN) 520 (Adopted Resolution No. 47) and 517 (Adopted Resolution No. 48), were sponsored by Senate President Juan Miguel "Migz" F. Zubiri and unanimously adopted by the chamber with all Senators as co-authors.

"The tragic death of Governor Degamo is a great loss not only to his bereaved family but to the province of Negros Oriental as well, and the Senate of the Philippines joins Negros Oriental in mourning the death of its patriarch," SRN 520 expressed.

Describing Degamo as a "hardworking civil servant", Zubiri emphasized in his sponsorship speech that Degamo has left a legacy of service, discipline and humility that is palpable in his political career.

"The fact that he spent his last moments on earth opening his home and attending to his constituents is telling of the kind of man he was. A truly committed public servant," the Senate President said.

"We are taking this time to honor Gov. Degamo, who has exemplified kindness, generosity, competence, diligence, hard work, patriotism, and bravery while in public service," Sen. Cynthia Villar also said.

Degamo, 56, was shot and killed by assailants bearing high-powered weapons at their family's residential compound on March 4, 2023. It was reported that Degamo was distributing financial assistance to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) when he and eight other civilians were murdered.

"To the families and constituents of Gov. Degamo and others, whose families are victims of these senseless killings, we are one with you in demanding justice," Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva expressed.

"And for the families who have been orphaned and left behind, hold on to our promise that we will be with you seeking justice," Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. said.

Sens. Pia Cayetano, Ronald "Bato" M. Dela Rosa, Christopher Lawrence T. Go, Win Gatchalian, Raffy Tulfo, Risa Hontiveros, and Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada also offered their sincere sentiments and condolences to the bereaved family of Degamo in their respective manifestations during the plenary session.

On the other hand, the Senate, through SRN 517, also denounced the increasing number of killings and ambushes against elected and appointed government officials. The resolution noted that aside from Degamo, there were at least three more local executives who were either injured or killed in ambushes in just a span of 15 days - from February 17 to March 3.

"Injustice and violence do not have a place in any civilized society, and no cause justifies brutalities against the lives of all persons," SRN 517 said.

"The Senate of the Philippines, in the strongest sense, urges the Philippine National Police and other law enforcement agencies to exert all efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice not only for the sake of all victims and their families but also to ensure that the rule of law is upheld at all times for an orderly and peaceful society," the resolution added.

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