PBBM creates task force Degamo to preserve peace in Negros Island


President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. has ordered the creation of a new special task force to address potential security threats besetting the entire Negros Island following the killing of Negros Oriental Gov. Roel R. Degamo last month.

The President signed on Monday Administrative Order (AO) No. 6, series of 2023, creating the special task force “DEGAMO” to “prevent the spread and escalation of violence elsewhere in the Philippines and to maintain peace and order in Negros Island.”

The task force was given marching orders to intensify campaigns against loose firearms and private armies.

It will also coordinate or rationalize government efforts in the prevention, investigation, prosecution and punishment of violence in Negros Island, and submit to the President, through the Office of the Executive Secretary, reports on the peace and order situation in the said island.

The Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will serve as chair of the task force, while its vice chairs will be Secretaries of Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of National Defense (DND).

Their initiatives will be augmented by other government agencies to the victims of violence in the Negros Island, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to grant them with emergency relief aid and the Department of Health (DOH) to provide them with psychological rehabilitation.

The President also instructed the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas to help the task force.

Task force Degamo will issue its operational guidelines 20 days after the effectivity of AO 6.

AO No. 6 was issued following the gruesome killing of Degamo at his residential compound in Pamplona, Negros Oriental, where eight others were slain and 17 were wounded on March 4, 2023.

Authorities are currently probing the incident.

Among the suspected mastermind of the incident is Negros Oriental 3rd District Rep. Arnolfo “Arnie” A. Teves, Jr., who has yet to return from his trip to the United States due to alleged threats to his life and family.