WE are aware of various shooting incidents and murders committed recently in Quezon province, but those that happened in Negros Oriental are far more serious.
The month of March opened with the gun attack on John Carlo Leoparte, 35, and Charisse Daen,25, at a street corner in Barangay 6, Lucena City.
The guy died on the spot from fatal bullet wounds while the young female victim was rushed to the Quezon Medical Center but was dead on arrival at that hospital.
In nearby Sariaya, Eva Quirante died of a lone bullet wound in the head, much to the surprise of her husband, Jaime.
Earlier on Sunday, Feb. 19, Vice Mayor Rommel Alameda of Aparri, Cagayan and five others were ambushed by gunmen wearing police uniforms.
Is there a breakdown in peace and order?
On the morning of March 4, armed men with high-powered assault rifles sprayed Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo's event near his house in Pamplona town and killed the governor. The governor and his staff were then distributing assistance to poor residents of the town.
Governor Degamo, who obviously was the target, died from wounds inflicted by bullets fired from high-powered rifles by military-trained killers, actually former soldiers.
Aside from him, the local police identified the eight other fatalities as Quinikito, Florenda, barangay captain of Barangay Fatima; Jose Marie Ramirez, barangay councilor; and civilians Jomar Canseco, Crispin Vallega, Jerome Maquiling, Joseph Retada, Michael Fabugais, and, Jessie Bot-ay.
Those seriously injured were Liland Estacion, head medical doctor of the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital; Corporal Gerald Malones and Sgt. Edmar Sayon, from the Army’s 11th Infantry Battalion; and civilians Lestor Chris Arnold, Marlo Quilnet, Fredilito Café, Chyrell Garpen, Rosa Banquerigo, Vickmar Rayoso, Mayben Jun Torremocha, Nikki Espinas and Pedro Flores.
Also wounded was David Toryan Cortez, a local broadcast journalist who was among those covering the event, while Diomedes Omatang, Raymond Baro, Rodelio Ragay Quinikito and Nikko Torres Alavaren suffered minor injuries.
Is there a looming breakdown of peace and order, even as the police and the justice system are still trying to find justice for the killing of radio broadcaster-columnist-blogger Percy Lapid in Las Piñas in October, 2022.
Four policemen were killed while Lanao del Sur Gov. Mamintal Adiong and two others were wounded in a roadside ambush in Maguing town, Lanao del Sur, on Feb. 17. The area was reportedly controlled by the MILF.
The Pamplona massacre rivals the Maguindanao massacre of 2009 as the most serious incident of political violence for its audacity and terror. The fact that it occurred while the nation is reeling from almost weekly murders and ambushes against local and national officials is also concerning.
It looks like we Filipinos have to live with political violence as long as we continue to maintain the rotten political system that we currently have.