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MANILA: A governor of the central Philippines was shot dead along with five others by unidentified gunmen on Saturday, in what his widow said was the latest attack targeting local officials.
Armed with rifles and wearing uniforms similar to those of the armed forces, six suspects entered the governor’s mansion in the town of Pamplona and opened fire, local police said.
Negros Oriental State Governor Roel Degamo and five others were killed in the shooting, his widow said.
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“Governor de Garmo did not deserve that kind of death sentence. He served his constituents on Saturday,” Janice de Garmo, who is also the mayor of Pamplona, said in a video posted on Facebook.
President Ferdinand Marcos condemned what he said were “congratulations” from political allies and warned the perpetrators to “surrender now, it will be your best bet”.
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“My administration will not rest until we bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous and heinous crime,” Marcos added.
The conditions of the four other people who were shot in the incident were not disclosed.
Provincial police spokesman Kym Lopez said the politician was distributing aid to voters when he was shot. AFP.
Police said they were looking for 10 suspects, including six gunmen, who fled the scene in two SUVs and a pickup truck before abandoning them in a nearby city.
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De Gamo, 56, was the latest in a long line of politicians targeted in the Philippines and was shot dead for at least the third time since last year’s local elections.
Last month, the Supreme Court declared him the legitimate winner of the Negros Oriental gubernatorial race after a recount, while his local opponent had previously been declared the winner.
Last year, De Garmo also campaigned for Marcos for president.
Mamintal Adiong, governor of the southern Ranau del Sur state, was shot and wounded in an attack in February that killed his driver and three police escorts.
Rommel Alameda, the deputy mayor of the northern town of Aparri, was shot dead that month along with five others in his entourage in a highway ambush.
In the bloodiest politically motivated ambush ever recorded, the leader of a powerful southern clan and about two dozen followers have been sentenced to life in prison for attacking supporters of Maguindanao’s gubernatorial election opponent in 2009.
The attack killed 58 people, including the politician’s wife and relatives, as well as 32 journalists and media workers covering the match.