Philippine leader orders crackdown after governor’s murder

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered police to crack down on illegal firearms and private armed forces on Monday, saying the weekend had been “terrifying.” The shooting that killed the governor 8 others in the crowd.

The attack on Negros Oriental Governor Roel de Gamo on Saturday by at least six men armed with assault rifles and wearing military camouflage and bulletproof vests was the deadliest attack in recent weeks for politicians.

It was also the most disturbing shooting under Marcos, who said he was shocked to see footage of gunmen walking into a residential area of ​​Degamo and firing at anyone in sight.”

“This is particularly horrific and really… I don’t know. This doesn’t belong in society,” Marcos said at a press conference when asked about the worst killing since taking office last June. It is unacceptable and intolerable.This cannot go unpunished.”

Government forces are still chasing other suspects in the area and are being cordoned off by law enforcement, Marcos said, adding without elaborating that the attack was “purely political.” rice field.

Police said four suspects, including two former army soldiers, were arrested and charged, while another died in a brief shootout with police. The military and police need to remain vigilant in the state to prevent further violence, Marcos said.

He ordered the Ministry of Interior and the National Police to assess political hotspots in the country, dismantle private armies and confiscate illegal firearms.

Degamo, who last year endorsed Marcos’ candidacy for president, said when gunmen quietly walked into his residential area in the town of Pamplona and opened fire, he slammed into a group of poor villagers seeking medical and other help. I was meeting They got away in his three SUVs and were later left stranded in a nearby town. About 10 men were seen running away, police said.

Police said at least 17 people were injured in the attack, including a doctor and two army soldiers.

DeGamo, a longtime politician, initially lost the governorship of Negros Oriental in last year’s election, but was later sworn in as governor after submitting a court petition. He said without elaborating that he received death threats years ago in a state with a history of bloody political conflict and violence linked to communist uprisings.

Degamo’s murder highlights that even local and influential politicians are not immune to high-profile gun violence that persists despite government pledges to combat gun violence. I’m here.

Apart from Degamo, at least four politicians have been attacked in recent weeks.

Mamintar Aronto Addion Jr., the governor of southern Lanao del Sur province, was injured in an attack on a convoy last month, killing four of his bodyguards. Police have killed one suspect in a clash He said he had identified other suspects who would soon be indicted.

In another attack, men in police uniforms reportedly opened fire on the van of Deputy Mayor Lommel Alameda in the northern town of Aparri, killing the deputy mayor and five associates in the northern state of Nueva Vizcaya. killed. Suspect is on the run.

Crime caused by unauthorized firearm abuse and spotty law enforcement and decades of Muslim and communist insurgency are some of the major problems inherited by former governor Marcos. is.

In 2009, nearly 200 militants, led by members of political parties, blocked rival convoys ahead of local elections, killing 58 victims, including 32 media workers, in Ampa, southern Maguindanao state. They were taken to a hill near the town of Tuan, where they were all shot. under. The court convicted the detained key members A decade later, the Ampatuans were arrested over the murders, but many suspects remain at large.