Negros Oriental Governor Degamo’s killing: Three suspects including 2 ex-military men nabbed

Authorities pursuing seven other at large suspects

By: Pegeen Maisie M. Sararaña - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 04,2023 - 10:28 PM

Negros Oriental governor Degamo's killing: Three suspects including 2 ex-military men nabbed. In photo is a portion of the area where the deadly attack happened outside the residence of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Saturday morning, March 4. | Contributed Photo

This is a portion of the area where the deadly attack happened outside the residence of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo on Saturday morning, March 4. | Contributed Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Three persons including two former military men were arrested in connection with the shooting of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo, and five others, who were also killed in the attack this morning, March 4, in Barangay San Isidro, Pamplona town this province.

They were caught nearly seven hours or past 4 p.m. since the deadly attack on the governor at his house in Barangay San Isidro in Pamplona town at past 9 a.m. today.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Gerard Ace Pelare, spokesperson of Police Brigadier General Jerry Bearis, Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) director, identified the suspects as Joric Labrador, 50, an ex-army man of Cagayan de Oro; Joven Aber, 42, an ex-army ranger of Barangay Robles in La Castellana, Negros Occidental; and Benjie Rodriguez, 45, of Mindanao.

Authorities continue their hot pursuit operation against the seven other suspects, who remain at large as of this posting.

At past 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 4, Degamo was entertaining 4Ps beneficiaries at the entrance of his residence when a group of persons wearing pixelized uniforms and in full battle gear shot the governor several times hitting Degamo and some civilians in the vicinity.

Degamo and other wounded victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment but the governor was declared dead by the attending physician at 11:41 a.m. This was confirmed by Janice Degamo, the governor’s wife, who is also the mayor of Pamplona town, through a Facebook livestream.

“Governor Degamo do not deserve that kind of death. Amoang panghinaot nga isip kabanay ni Governor Roel nga tinud-un gyud unta sa national government ang pagpangita, pagpaningil sa hustisya sa akoang bana,” said Janice as she cried for justice for the death of her husband.

(Governor Degamo do (sic) not deserve that kind of death. We, his relatives, hope that the national government will truly look for the suspects, we seek justice for my husband.)

Janice also said in the Facebook livestream that there were five others, who died in the attack.

READ: Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo killed in shooting attack; wife cries for justice


Police Lieutenant Colonel Pelare said a Regional Special Investigation Task Group was created to focus on the thorough and swift investigation relative to the shooting.

Pelare said that initial investigation showed that at least six individuals arrived at the entrance area of the house of Degamo, who was meeting with 4Ps beneficiaries there at past 9 a.m. 

These six individuals, who were wearing pixelized uniform and carrying long firearms, suddenly opened fire on the governor, hitting their target and several others in the vicinity of the attack.

After the attack, the assailants then fled the area on two SUVs and a pickup truck.

Hours later, police on hot pursuit operation found three abandoned getaway vehicles — a Mitsubishi Pajero, with plate number NQZ 735; a green Izuzu pickup with plate number GRY 162; and a black Mitsubishi Montero, with plate number YAP 163; in Barangay Cansumalig, Bayawan City also in Negros Oriental.

Pelare said that 10 individuals were seen fleeing from these vehicles at that time.

Earlier, the Department of Justice offered a reward worth P5 million for those who could provide information that might help in the swift arrest of the suspects, who were responsible in this deadly attack.

Also, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr has ordered the police to track down the gunmen behind this attack.

READ: Comelec proclaims new governor of Negros Oriental

Degamo earlier lost in the gubernatorial race in the May 2022 elections. However, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) eventually declared him the winner after the votes of nuisance candidate Grego Gaudia, who used the name “Ruel Degamo,” was nullified in the governor’s favor.

Roel received 277,462 votes, while Ruel got 49,039 in the last elections. When the numbers were added, they were sufficient for Roel Degamo to defeat Pryde Henry Teves, who garnered 296,897 votes.

Teves, who served as governor of Negros Oriental for almost four months, stepped down from his post on Oct. 11, paving the way for Degamo to assume the governor’s post. | with reports from


Abalos orders hunt for Governor Degamo’s killers

DOJ offers P5 million reward for arrest of gunmen in Negros Oriental gov’s slay

Lawmakers condemn Negros Oriental gov’s assassination


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