Is there a pattern in killings of public officials?

Topic |  

Is there a pattern in killings of public officials?

Topic |  

IN A SPAN OF 14 DAYS,  (about 18) people were mercilessly murdered in four incidents involving 4 government officials. We cannot say if the count is over. 

But it is a dangerous pattern and no less than the president of the Philippines should get involved in restoring the deteriorating peace and order in the nation.

His ally who he had just inducted into office as governor of neighboring Negros Oriental (Roel Degamo) and eight others were gunned down by the long arms of 10 battle-clad men in military clothes who dumped their two escaped vans elsewhere. Degamo was distributing the 4 P’s “ayuda” for the poor program outside his residence.

Surely, the suspects’ ploy to gain ease of entry into the premises of the house of the governor in Pamplona (by wearing military uniforms) reeks of gross premeditation and deceit and was meant to finish the governor dead in one sweep of bullets.


It seems the attacks on elected public officials now are getting more daring, brazen and conscience-less by the day since February 17, the first day in a series of public officials’ assassinations.

Sure, President Marcos told the assassins “they can run but not hide” and a region-wide dragnet has been set by the DILG boss Benhur Abalos to nab the suspects That should include the provinces of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor and Leyte-Samar. That’s not enough. Let’s review.

On February 17, Lanao del Sur Governor  Mamintal Alonto Adiong Jr. In Bukidnon survived an ambush that took away the lives of four of his police escorts. On February 19, Aparri, Cagayan Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda and 5 others were massacred in Bacabag, Nueva Vizcaya. Supposedly by gunmen disguised as army personnel.

On February 22, Maguindanao del Sur Mayor Ohto Caumbo Montawal was killed by two assassins while in Pasay City, Manila. Including Degamo’s murder, two of the assassinations involved camouflaged military-garbed personnel and three of the four incidents were stage-managed in areas outside the political jurisdiction of the victim-politicians.

In all four cases, the John Does all seem to still be outside the arm of the law. Or not apprehended with certainty as to a probable cause of involvement (3 Degamo suspects were collared) Are we seeing a disturbing pattern here and in so short a period of time as if impunity is back in business?

We, hereby, enjoin all public officials especially our elected governor Aris Aumentado to double up his layers of security protection and sharpen their intelligence’s ears and eyes to protect themselves from those who would harm their persons and office.


It is always better to be even late than sorry.



OUR RESEARCH LED us to the conclusion that this neighboring province of Negros Oriental has been a jewel fought over by two powerful political names.

In the last May polls, Roel Degamo won a Supreme Court ruling and a subsequent reaffirmation of his win by 30,000 after the highest court upheld the Comelec decision that the 50,000 stray votes of a declared “nuisance” candidate Ruel Degamo be credited to Roel instead that caused the latter to alter the results of the gubernatorial race in his favor over his rival Pryde Henry Teves.


His opponent belongs to a long-time political name in that province (the Teves family) which has a concurrent congressman (Antonio) and the dislodged governor and had been a political fixture (nationally and province-wide) for generations.

The late Degamo himself was besieged by controversies largely involving the Ombudsman with questioned funds relative to Typhoon Sendong, calamity funds during the earthquake in 2012, and intelligence funds. 


Through all those, Degamo came out unscathed and was elected governor in 2013, 2016, and 2019. The last time he run was a Nacionalista. A Don Bosco/Silliman University product, Degamo was a certified Mechanical Engineer.

Though he started as a lowly councilor of Siaton, destiny pushed him into the governorship when the then-incumbent governor Agustin Perdices died in office. 

His May 2022 rival, Henry Teves, was mayor of Bayawan town, a place that figured in the mysterious deaths of human rights advocates involved in a real estate dispute involving a prominent personality sometime ago.

We also chanced upon an interesting tale from “People’s Tonight” columnist Alfred Dalizon where he narrated that on February 8, a 45-year-old Danish national Tim Moerch and his Filipina wife  Karen Kate were murdered by motorcycle-riding men. Two days later the couple’s friend Maila Cagas was also killed – she was allegedly suspected of having a hand in the murder of  Don Paolo Teves (42) younger brother of Valencia town mayor  Edgar Teves Jr.on February 3.

Another alleged suspect John Remullo is still at large, according to the newspaper columnist. No one really knows if he is still alive.

There is no telling that there is any interrelation between the recent killings.  What is certain is that our neighboring province Negros Oriental is in needles and pins trying to unravel the mystery behind the killing of their own elected governor in broad daylight by men disguised in full battle gear as military men.

We hope and pray for an early resolution of their gruesome case.

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