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Monday, March 20, 2023

Philippines: The alleged perpetrator of the assassination of the governor of Negros Oriental has perished in a fierce exchange of gunfire.

A suspect in the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo died during the hot pursuit operation against gunmen, a regional police spokesman said Sunday.

Lt.Col. Gerard Ace Pelare told dzBB that the Army joined the police and the Philippine National Police’s elite Special Action Force in pursuing the remaining six gunmen who shot Degamo and nine others dead on Saturday morning in his residence in Pamplona.

”The suspect was killed in a firefight. We have not been able to identify him,” he said.

Three suspects were arrested late Saturday. Pelare said two were former military who were dishonorably discharged.

”The hot pursuit team composed of the PNP, AFP and SAF are still on the ground conducting hot pursuit operations to ensure the remaining suspects will be arrested,” said Pelare.

Pelare said investigators will be looking at political infighting, private armed groups and other angles in the death of Degamo, whose election as governor was upheld was February by the Supreme Court.

Degamo’s killing was condemned by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who ordered the attackers to surrender.

Degamo was the latest local government official to be ambushed in nearly a month. A vice mayor in Aparri, Cagayan was killed, a mayor from Maguindanao survived a shooting in Pasay while a governor from Mindanao cheated death but his four security detail died.

Pelare said 13 persons in Saturday’s attack are in critical condition.

Among the badly hurt were an Army sergeant and a corporal, a radio reporter and a doctor. DMS

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