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House leader seeks probe on security lapses in Negros Oriental governor’s murder


HOUSE SPEAKER Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez called to investigate the absence of the police escorts of the late Negros Oriental Governor Roel R. Degamo on the day he was shot dead at his residence on March 4.

“Governor Degamo had earlier reported to the police about the threats to his life so it stands to reason that his security detail should have implemented stricter measures to ensure his safety. That’s why it’s highly suspicious why these police escorts were missing on the day he was killed,” Mr. Romualdez said in a statement on Sunday.

He called on the House public order and safety committee to conduct a congressional inquiry into Mr. Degamo’s security personnel.

“If we find out in this congressional inquiry that some PNP (Philippine National Police) personnel were in cahoots with the perpetrators to remove the security protection of Gov. Degamo, we will recommend the filing of appropriate criminal charges against everyone involved,” he said.

At a public order and safety panel meeting last week, lawmakers called out the PNP for their supposed lack of foresight amid political tensions in Negros Oriental.

In the same committee meeting, PNP Deputy Director for Personnel and Records Management Matthew P. Baccay said they are looking to assign more security personnel to local officials as well as members of Congress.

He also assured that the police force will implement tighter security measures such as setting up checkpoints in areas deemed under high risk of violence in view of the upcoming village and youth council elections in October.

Mr. Degamo and eight others died when armed men opened fire in his residential compound, where cash aid was being distributed under a social service program. — Beatriz Marie D. Cruz

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