Top officials and bishops of Negros Occidental and Bacolod are calling for justice for Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others who were massacred in Pamplona, Negros Oriental, on Saturday, March 4.
“I, together with the people of Negros Oriental, mourn the loss of Governor Roel Degamo. I condemn his murder as well as that of others who were just there to seek assistance,” Negros Occidental Gov. Eugenio Jose Lacson said.
“We need to put a stop to violent crimes such as this, and I earnestly hope that justice will prevail. Our people and government officials deserve to live in peace and should be able to live free from fear,” he added.
Lacson said on behalf of the people of Negros Occidental, he offers his prayers and sincerest sympathies to Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo and family, and to the families of the others who were also killed.
Bacolod Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez said “it is with full conviction that I condemn this unacceptable and deplorable heinous crime”.
“I am one with those who call for swift justice, that the perpetrators be caught to face the consequences of their actions,” Benitez said.
Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District) said he condemns in the strongest possible terms the murder of Degamo.
“Violence has no place in the Negros Island”, he said, adding that he joins the call to bring to justice the individuals who committed this despicable act.
“I pray for peace in the Negros Island,” he added.
The Benitez brothers also conveyed their condolences to Degamo’s family.
Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said “I join my voice with those who strongly condemn this total disregard of the primacy and sanctity of human life and with all those who call for swift justice”.
Dumaguete Bishop Julito Cortes said “I strongly condemn this heartbreaking and senseless act of murder in Negros Oriental. How can we ever attain lasting peace if this culture of violence continues to torment us? When will this cycle of killings ever stop? We pray, then, that the perpetrators behind this bloodshed be brought to justice soon”.
“For the rest of us in the community, let us admit that we are very much saddened and shocked. But let us remain calm and vigilant. Do not allow anger or fear to consume us. I urge all government agencies, national and local, especially the police and military, to work closely together for the speedy resolution of these cases, and thus, help us attain peace and justice in our island”, he added.*