for killings in Negros Oriental
Pamplona Mayor Janice Vallega-Degamo is asking the Senate to include the Department of Environment & Natural Resources and the Department of Agrarian Reform in its investigation into the massacre on March 4 that claimed the lives of Gov. Roel Degamo and eight others.
Speaking to reporters after her husband’s burial at the family cemetery in barangay Bonawon in Siaton, about 50 kilometers south of Dumaguete, Mayor Janice said the Senate should also closely scrutinize both government agencies whose various dealings have “caused some of the killings in Negros Oriental”.
“Many victims of land-grabbing and other deals came to us to ask for help,” the widow said. “We have asked these agencies to investigate these reports but they refused to act, saying, ‘Ipapatay mi nimo ni Arnie?’”
She added: “A [DAR] lawyer was killed, and a human rights lawyer was killed, and what happened? The stories didn’t even land in the local media!” she lamented.
She revealed that the Senate had scheduled its investigation but had to postpone it pending the filing of criminal charges in court. “If there will be a Senate hearing, I hope it will be very soon,” she said.
She said she hopes that this time, something will come out of the investigation. She said they had written some Senators asking for an investigation into the killings in Negros Oriental but that it didn’t happen.
By their count, she said there have been about 30 unsolved killings in the Province which they attribute to politics.
She thanked the government agencies that have cooperated in the fight for justice for her slain husband.
When asked about the killing of broadcaster Rex Cornelio Pepino, which was blamed on her husband Governor Degamo since the killer was allegedly riding a vehicle owned by the Provincial government, Mayor Janice said she had already furnished all the reports to the Philippine National Police, and had asked that the widow of Pepino go see her to be enlightened on what they know about the broadcaster’s killing. She said Mrs. Pepino should cooperate fully in the investigation. “But it seems she doesn’t like to do it,” Mayor Janice said.
Asked if she would consider running for governor in 2025, she said she will have to really study it well. “What’s the use of running if we would just get killed?” She quickly added that if she will indeed run for governor, she will be running for a cause greater than her self, “greater than Roel’s and mine”.
Her challenge to Cong. Arnie Teves, her husband’s nemesis, is to come back and face the charges.
Teves, believed to be abroad for a medical treatment, has repeatedly said in various social media posts that he is not responsible for the killings in Negros Oriental.
The suspects who were caught after the March 4 massacre, however, are pointing at Teves as the mastermind.