West News Wire: In the most recent assault against local leaders, an unidentified gunman shot and killed a provincial governor in the center of the Philippines along with five other people.
Six suspects, according to the police, invaded the governor’s mansion in Pamplona town and started shooting while armed with rifles and wearing clothes resembling those of the military forces.
The shooting claimed the lives of five people, including Negros Oriental province governor Roel Degamo, according to his widow.
“Gov. Degamo didn’t deserve to die that way. In a video shared on Facebook, Janice Degamo, who is also the mayor of Pamplona, said that the man was serving his constituents on a Saturday.
In a statement released on Saturday, the police stated that it was unknown how the hospitalized victims were doing.
Degamo, 56, is the latest to be targeted in the Philippines’ long history of attacks on politicians, and is at least the third to be shot since local elections last year.
President Ferdinand Marcos condemned what he described as the “assassination” of political ally Degamo and promised to bring swift justice to his killers.
Last month, the Supreme Court declared Degamo the rightful winner of the contest for the Negros Oriental governorship following a recount that unseated his local rival, who had previously been proclaimed the victor.
Mamintal Adiong, governor of the southern province of Lanao del Sur, was shot and wounded in February in an attack that killed his driver and three police escorts.
That same month, the vice-mayor of the northern town of Aparri, Rommel Alameda, and five other people who were travelling with him were shot dead in a highway ambush.
The leaders of a powerful southern clan and about two dozen followers were sentenced to life in prison for a 2009 attack on supporters of a gubernatorial election rival in Maguindanao province. The attack left 58 people dead, including the politician’s wife and relatives, along with 32 journalists and media workers.