Pamplona Massacre anniversary: ‘Where are we now in our pursuit of justice?’

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | March 04,2024 - 02:52 PM

Pamplona Massacre

A series of screenshots from a security camera at the residence of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo (upper left photo) shows six gunmen in military-type uniform casually entering the compound in Pamplona town before shooting the governor and several of his constituents. (ROEL DEGAMO FACEBOOK /CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Today, March 4, 2024, marks the first anniversary of the shooting that killed Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo and nine others inside his home in Pamplona town, Negros Oriental, which would be later known as the Pamplona Massacre.

With this, the Diocese of Dumaguete has released a statement to commemorate the massacre, a copy of which was shared with members of the media.


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In a statement released on Monday, Most Rev. Julito B. Cortes, D.D., Bishop of Dumaguete, asked “Where are we now in our pursuit of justice and peace for our beloved province?”

“It may appear that our local situation is back to normal especially with all the strategic positioning for the upcoming 2025 mid-term elections. But how can we really claim normalcy if some of our people continue to cry for true justice, are troubled by fear, division and confusion?” 

Even if some of the suspects have been arrested, cases have been filed, and several decisions have  been made, the bishop believes resolution is not yet in sight.

“What have been done so far are not enough to quench our thirst for lasting peace,” Cortes said.

The prelate also cited an argument from Miroslav Volf’s book, a Croatian theologian, entitled, “The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World.”

“[Volf] argues that true peace and reconciliation is a long and difficult process, and it cannot be achieved through superficial and insincere gestures. It requires an acknowledgment of the harm done, a deep commitment to addressing the underlying issues and working towards a just and peaceful future,” Cortes said.

Cortes hopes that “reality be fully achieved and enjoyed by our people in the province.”

“Today, as we offer prayers for the eternal rest of the souls of those who perished through that evil act on March 4, 2023, in Pamplona. Let us also pray for the strength of their bereaved families, for the healing of other victims, and for the conversion of hearts of the perpetrators and their masterminds,” Cortes said.

The prelate also urged the locals of Negros Oriental to “renew” their support for and appeal to local and national government authorities to continue working for the full resolution of the case, “that truth, justice, and genuine peace may reign again this year (2024) in Negros Oriental.”


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TAGS: Arni Teves, Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Roel Degamo

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