Degamo widow says she hitched ride on Air Force plane to attend Senate probe


Posted at Apr 19 2023 11:01 AM | Updated as of Apr 19 2023 11:26 AM

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MANILA – Pamplona, Negros Oriental Mayor Janice Degamo on Wednesday explained how she was able to ride a C-130 aircraft of the Philippine Air Force in order to physically attend the Senate Committee on Public Order’s hearing on the assassination of her husband, Gov. Roel Degamo.

“Naki-hitch lang kami (We just hitched a ride), that flight was not totally for us,” she told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

She said she and the relatives of other victims of killings in Negros Oriental found ways to get to Manila when they learned that they were invited to the Senate.

“In fact, siksikan talaga doon, nandoon yung mga, (Presidential Security Group) ata, marami pa rin, parang halos kasing dami namin or more than yung dami nila. So naki-hitch lang po,” she said.

(We were crowded in the plane, the Presidential Security Group was there too, I think. There were more of them than of us, I think. We just hitched a ride.)

Degamo’s comments come after Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo Teves, Jr., who has been implicated in the governor’s killing on March 4, questioned why she was able to ride a government-owned plane.

Teves, who is reportedly outside the country, was supposed to attend the Senate hearing virtually, but was unanimously barred by senators from doing so.

But if he is allowed, Teves should be sworn in at the Philippine embassy or consulate in the country where he is staying, two senators said. His whereabouts remain unknown.

Teves has yet to return to the country, more than a month since his travel clearance expired. 

He was slapped with a 60-day suspension at the House of Representatives over his continued absence in Congress.

Mayor Degamo said that as a taxpayer, she also had the right to ride a government airplane.

“What’s wrong ba, with riding in a vehicle owned by the Philippine government when we are also taxpayers? Ang laki ng tax ko (I pay ahuge tax),” she said.

“Kung humingi din siya ng permiso na sumakay din sa C-130, eh di nagkita sana kami doon kasi taxpayer din siya,” she said of Teves.

(If he asked for a permission to ride the C-130, we would have met, because he's also a taxpayer.)

Senate PRIB
Pamplona Mayor Janice Degamo, widow of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel Degamo, attends the hearing of the Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs on April 17, 2023. The committee is conducting an inquiry into the assassination of the governor as well as the spate of recent political assassinations in various areas of the country. Senate PRIB

--TeleRadyo, 19 April 2023