MANILA: A provincial governor in the central Philippines and five others have been shot dead by unknown gunmen in the latest attack against local politicians.
Police said six suspects carrying rifles and dressed in uniforms similar to those worn by the armed services entered the governor’s home in Pamplona town and opened fire.
Roel Degamo, governor of Negros Oriental province, and five others were killed in the shooting, his widow said.
“Governor Degamo did not deserve that kind of death. He was serving his constituents on a Saturday,” Janice Degamo, who is also the mayor of Pamplona, said in a video posted on Facebook.
Police said in a statement on Saturday that the conditions of the hospitalized victims were unknown.
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. (Int’l Monitoring Desk)