MANILA - The widow of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo on Wednesday agreed that a military takeover in Negros Oriental might help, saying she wants an end to impunity in the province.
During the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs hearing which focused on the murder of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, Sen. Robin Padilla asked officials if it was time for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to authorize the military to take control of the province.
He said the Chief Executive can do so under Article 7, Section 18 of the Constitution, which states that "the President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of all armed forces of the Philippines and whenever it becomes necessary, he may call out such armed forces to prevent or suppress lawless violence, invasion or rebellion."
"Sa palagay ninyo 'di pa ito napapanahon sa Negros Oriental?(Do you think it is time for this in Negros Oriental?)" he asked, noting there were many other victims of other crimes in the province seeking aid during the Senate hearing on Tuesday.
Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, the slain governor's widow, agreed with Padilla that a "military takeover" can defuse the situation in Negros Oriental, though not to the point of martial law.
"If that would hasten, gaano katagal bago truly one can feel wala na talaga ang intimidation. Para sa akin, in my personal point of view, okay ako kung ganoon na lang muna (If that would hasten ending the feeling of impunity, then personally I am okay with it)," she told the senator.
Sen. Francis Tolentino, meanwhile, proposed to postpone the upcoming barangay and youth elections in Negros Oriental due to the volatile situation in the province.
He warned that the situation in Negros Oriental may lead to further chaos, especially if the local polls should proceed in the province this October.
"Kung i-postpone po iyon magkakaroon ng mas malakas na momentum ang ating peacekeeping forces. Pagkatapos ng ibang trabaho, mame-maintain 'yung law and order sa Negros Oriental (It it is postponed, our peacekeeping forces will have better momentum. After other work is done, Negros Oriental's law and order will be maintained),” said Tolentino.
Mayor Degamo welcomed the senator's proposal, saying will definitely help the current situation of the province.
Last Tuesday, officials and ordinary residents of Negros Oriental aired out their grievances against the controversial Teves political clan.
Mayor Degamo and a long line of Negrenses asked for the Senate’s immediate intervention amid the supposed threats from the Teves family.
Former Negros Oriental governor Pryde Henry Teves, who attended the hearing, belied accusations against him and his brother, Congressman Arnolfo Teves, Jr., who is a suspected mastermind behind Gov. Degamo's killing.
Rep. Teves, whose current whereabouts are unknown as of writing, has also denied allegations against him.